Peruvian broadcaster taken off air by fire, blames mayor

The transmission center of a Peruvian radio station ceased broadcasting after a fire that caused approximately $5,800 in damages, said the news portal Ifex.  This is the second attack in 15 days against the Paraíso de Olmos radio station, whose administrator linked the attack to the mayor of the town, located in the northern department of Lambayeque, added Ifex.

Station administrator José Luis Cobeñas said the attacks could be linked to one of the news programs broadcast by the station that was critical of the mayor, said the Press and Society Institute (Ipys).  The mayor denied responsibility and said that the accusations were fabricated to damage his image, said Ipys.

In an interview with Ipys, the provincial prosecutor said that they are still awaiting results before they declare the fire intentional.

In Ipys’ last report, the north of Peru was the most dangerous region in the country for journalists.  Lambayeque, with 16 attacks in 2012, was the second most dangerous department in the region after Cajamarca, with 18 attacks.  According to the report, attacks against the press in Lambayeque came mainly from public officeholders.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.