Peruvian journalists protest harassment from regional government

Journalists and media outlets in the western Peruvian city of Chimbote have joined to protest the president of the Ancash region, who they say is persecuting and harassing reporters who have criticized his government, CPN Radio reports.

Journalists from Radio NOVA and channels 35, 41, and 55 have created a freedom of expression defense committee, and last week they demonstrated wearing symbolic gags in protest, Prensa Regional reports. The march was in solidarity with channel 35, which has suffered “harassment” from regional President César Álvarez, whose government allegedly demanded the station replace the host of a program that criticized his administration.

According to Huaraz Noticias, the episode is similar to the practices used by former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), who regularly used threats and bribes to directly influence the media.

Recently, tensions between journalists and regional and local officials have been on the rise. According to IFEX, Peruvian journalists are “being censored, stabbed, beaten unconscious, and threatened with prison terms, for covering corruption, for criticizing local politicians, and for shedding light on protests and social injustice.”

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.