11 February 2008


Journalist threatened with murder after criticising Puno's regional president

Incident details

Pedro Mamani Zela

death threat

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(IPYS/IFEX) - On 8 February 2008, three hooded persons burst into the broadcasting booth of Radio Sudamericana radio station and threatened to kill journalist Pedro Mamani Zela while he was on air hosting his programme "Noticiero Sudamericano". According to Mamani Zela, one of the assailants carried a gun. The journalist was warned that if he did not stop criticizing Puno's regional president, Hernán Fuentes Guzmán, he would be killed. The same three antagonists also threatened the journalist's family. The incidents took place in the city of Juliaca, Puno region, southeastern Peru.

Mamani told IPYS that the threat is in retaliation for his criticisms against Fuentes Guzmán's administration for alleged acts of corruption. He also revealed that he has been threatened via telephone for several months.

The radio station's staff noticed something was amiss and got help from neighbours. The assailants fled, although the police managed to capture one of them - a minor who confessed to have been hired for 20 soles (approx. US$7) to scare the journalist. The authorities also found the vehicle in which the criminals fled. Its registration document was from Bolivia, and no permit had been issued for its use in Peru. Some documents belonging to the regional government were found inside the car.

The journalist stated that his lawyers will present this evidence in the lawsuit they will file against the regional president, accusing him of being the mastermind behind the threats.


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