United States arrests Peruvian journalist accused of spying for Russia

By Ingrid Bachmann

Vicky Peláez, a Peruvian journalist based in New York, is among 10 people the United States has arrested and accused of being secret agents for Russia, reported the Associated Press. The network of informants supposedly was dedicated to recruiting political sources and compiling secret information to send to Moscow, added El País.

Peláez has a column very critical of the U.S. government in the Latino newspaper La Prensa. She was arrested, along with her Uruguayan husband, on Sunday outside of New York, according to Correo.

El Comercio said the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) followed the journalist for the past 20 years. The federal agents also intercepted phone conversations and conversations in public spaces that incriminate Peláez, such as a video that shows the journalist receiving money from a Russian official in South America in January 2000, explained BBC World.

The journalist's son insists that this is political persecution because of the criticisms that Peláez published in her column, added RPP, but the director of La Prensa said that the U.S. government conducted an in-depth investigation and found strong evidence to pursue the case.

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.