Peruvian journalist brutally attacked after criticizing mayor

By Liliana Honorato

Peruvian journalist was hospitalized after being brutally attacked in the province of Calca, department of Cuzco, after criticizing the local mayor, whom the journalist blamed for the attack, reported the news outlet Enlace Nacional.

Journalist and owner of the news media Radio and TV Color of Calca Jaime Alfredo Núñez del Prado was diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injury and multiple injuries on the face and body. The journalist said that the attack happened on his TV program when a few individuals violently interrupted him during his report about alleged corruption by the mayor, the mayor's son, and other persons, reported the newspaper La República.

“I have remained in opposition to his administration, that is why he hates me,” said the reporter about mayor of Calca Ciriaco Condori Cruz, according to the newspaper Perú21.

According to the accusations Núñez del Prado made to the Press and Society Institute (IPYS in Spanish), this was the third time the journalist has been attacked, “allegedly all attacks are linked to mayor Condori.” The first time happened during Oct. 4, 2010, a day after the municipal elections, where the reporter was shot at, added the IPYS.

IPYS reported several attacks and threats against Peruvian reporters lately: the majority of the cases have happened during protests, especially during the anti-mining strike in the city of Cajamarca. But, many attacks are also linked to criticism that reporters make against public officials. Impunity also continues to be a large problem in the country. For example, on May 10, a criminal court acquitted the former mayor of Coronel Portillo and his former city manager of being responsible for the killing of journalist Alberto Rivera Fernández in 2004. The verdict was highly criticized by many journalist groups who believe those responsible for the crime were left unpunished.

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.