7 January 1998


Detention of investigative journalist imminent

Incident details

Jose Arrieta Matos



(IPYS/IFEX) - The Institute for Press and Society reports having received
information from reliable sources that journalist Jose Arrieta Matos, former
chief of the Investigative Unit at TV station Frecuencia Latina-Canal 2,
will be detained soon as a result of a police investigation which has been
opened after the broadcasting of testimony from a former intelligence agent
as part of an investigative report. As of today, the journalist has not yet
been detained.

**Updates IFEX alert of 17 December 1997**

Should Arrieta be arrested, IPYS considers that his detention would be a
serious blow to freedom of expression in Peru, since it is based on a
retraction of statements by an interviewee, the former intelligence agent,
who is now totally manipulated by the Peruvian intelligence services. This
retraction is being considered as the basis for charges. According to IPYS,
still more serious is the context, since, according to the information
available, the legal case and the possible arrest of Arrieta are being
carried out as reprisals by the Intelligence Services against him for his
decisive participation in the reports disseminated by Canal 2 during 1997.

Background Information

As chief of the Investigative Unit, Arrieta was responsible for the reports
of the Canal 2 program "Contrapunto" which revealed to national and
international public opinion the torture of former intelligence agent Leonor
La Rosa by members of her own institution, as well as the asasination of her
collegue Marial Barreto Riofano, which is still under investigation. As
well, the Investigative Unit reported on a vast network of the Intelligence
Services to tap the telephones of politicians - primarily of the opposition
-, journalists, business people and magistrates. Each of these investigative
reports was thoroughly documented.

According to IPYS, since the administration of Frecuencia Latina-Canal2 was
handed over to its minority shareholders, after an arbitrary judicial
process based on the unconstitutional revocation of Peruvian citizenship of
its majority owner Baruch Ivcher, an important group of journalists as well
as members of the Investigative Unit have resigned their jobs, as they are
unwilling to support this injustice committed against freedom of expression
and the rights of property.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the President, the Chief of the National Police, and the
President of the Supreme Court:

  • urging that this latest threat against freedom of the press be avoided
  • asking that the investigation be carried out according to the norms of due

    Appeals To

    Ing. Alberto Fujimori
    President of the Republic
    Palacio de Gobierno
    Plaza de Armas
    Lima, Peru
    Fax: +511 426 6770

    Fernando Dianderas
    Chief of the National Police
    Lima, Peru
    Fax: + 511 225 1775

    Marcos Ibazeta
    President of the Supreme Court
    Lima, Peru
    Fax: +511 426 8851

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Instituto Prensa y Sociedad
    Sucre N° 317
    Barranco, Lima
    postmaster (@) ipys.org
    Fax:+51 1 2473194
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