Peruvian journalist detained eight hours for filming police injustice

By Liliana Honorato

A Peruvian journalist was detained for eight hours for filming police officers turning television sets off in the Plaza de Armas in the city of Celendín in northern Peru, while people were trying to watch Ollanta Humala's presidential message on Saturday, July 28, reported the newspaper La República.

The event was reported through Twitter by activist Marco Arana, and by @celendín_libre, reporting that blogger and journalist Jorge Chávez Ortiz, from the northern city of Cajamarca, was transferred to the city of Chiclayo after his arrest, reported La República, and Perú21.

According to the Press and Society Institute (IPYS in Spanish), Chávez Ortiz annoyed the city police because he reported on his blog Mi Mina Corrupta (My Corrupt Mine) about several excesses that were committed, since November 2011, against inhabitants and journalists who opposed the mining project Conga.

Lately, the conflict involving the mining project Conga in Cajamarca has caused intense violence, and led to journalists' arrests. Several other protests in Peru also caused problems for journalists while they tried to cover the events. IPYS also reported on Tuesday, July 24, that two journalists were attacked by police officers while covering police violence during the strike of the Unique Union of Education Workers in the region of Lambayeque, in the northeastern part of the country. The attacked journalists are Luis Heredia Gonzáles, reporter for the news outlet El Digital, whose camera was also damaged, and Walter Ortiz, journalist for the newspaper La República.

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.