Reports of attacks and censorship multiply in Peru as presidential runoff vote nears

Two reporters were attacked by a Peruvian presidential candidate's bodyguards, while two other journalists reported threats and censorship as the tension continues to grow in the buildup to the second round of voting in the presidential election, the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) reports via IFEX.

Two radio journalists say they were attacking by presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori’s security while covering a May 10 rally in Satipo province, La Republica reports. The reporters were attempting to photograph the bodyguards' response to a protester who threw eggs at the candidate.

Another case reported by La Republica is the resignation of TV host José Soriano in Huancayo province. The journalist says the station wouldn’t broadcast one of his reports, as it was unflattering to Fujimori.

The new allegations add to attacks on reporters covering the campaign and other resignations and firings by journalists at media outlets who favor one of the candidates. The most recent incident is a funeral wreath that was sent to journalists at a paper supporting Ollanta Humala, Fujimori’s opponent in the presidential runoff.

The tense climate has spread beyond the election, as IPYS reports that the president of the Ayacucho region, Wilfredo Oscorima, has barred journalists from mentioning him in their reports, and a journalist for América TV is being sued for defamation by a local government official for allowing his rival to criticize him on air.

The first round of voting took place April 10, and the runoff between Humala and Fujimori is scheduled for June 5.

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.