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Two Peruvian journalists receive death threats after reporting on corrupt public officials

On 23 October 2014, journalists Paola Collazos and José Atauje, correspondents for Canal N and América Televisión respectively, reported being the victims of death threats related to their journalistic work in the Ayacucho region, located in southeastern Peru.

The journalists stated that there are very powerful mafias in the region that even have sway over the authorities. Their reports about this situation have resulted in death threats, being followed and receiving menacing phone calls.

Atauje reported that he was approached by three strangers in the street who told him to “take care of himself”. They also attempted to take his picture as a way of intimidating him. Both journalists have also received calls to their cell phones telling them to stop denouncing certain officials linked to alleged cases of corruption.

Meanwhile, Collazos said that while she does not know where the threats have come from, she can state that there are some very powerful people in Ayacucho who are linked to corruption and drug trafficking.

José Atauje and Paola Collazos have been working as journalists for several years. They have reported cases of terrorism, drug trafficking and lately about corrupt public officials, including prosecutors, judges, senior police officers and health officials. It is believed that their work on corruption could be the cause of the threats.

IPYS condemns the acts of intimidation against these journalists and calls on the authorities to investigate their origin to punish those found responsible, as they are a clear threat to press freedom that could stop Collazos and Atauje from monitoring the authorities.

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