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Peruvian journalist receives threatening messages, demands to stop reporting on local officials

  • Source: CPJ
  • December 13, 2021

"On Dec. 1, Jairo Roque Gómez, editor of the independent Diario Hechicera newspaper in the northern city of Tumbes, published a story about possible irregularities in the contract process to build a public school in Contralmirante Villar, a nearby township, according to Peru’s National Journalists Association and Roque who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.

A few hours after publishing, Roque received notarized letters from two Contralmirante Villar officials mentioned in the story, Luis Richard Fiestas Chunga and Gian André Miñano Briceño, Roque told CPJ. In the letters, published by Diario Hechicero, Fiestas and Miñano threated to file criminal defamation lawsuits and demanded that Roque stop writing about them and issue a retraction, without specifying what they objected to in his article. In Peru, defamation is a criminal offense punishable by prison.

Later that day, Roque received six Facebook messages from accounts he did not recognize that discouraged him from continuing to report on Contralmirante Villar officials and threatened him if he continued to do so, he told CPJ. Two of the messages were death threats."

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