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Magazine confiscated, journalist receives death threats

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 30 September 1999, Father Luis Távara Martín, director of
Radio Marañon in Jaén, visited the IPYS office to denounce two incidents:
death threats received by journalist Juan Sausa Seclén, correspondent for
"La República" daily and reporter for Radio Marañon; and the fact that the
28 September edition of "La República" was prevented from being distributed
in the city, allegedly by National Intelligence Service (SIN) officers.

Both incidents occurred after "La República" reported on the current
activities of Hugo Coral Goycochea, presently the head of the Sixth Military
Region intelligence operations unit based in Bagua, one of the goals of
which is to intimidate journalists. Coral is a former member of the "Colina"
paramilitary group. According to "La República", Coral is currently working
as an undercover bodyguard for Jaén Mayor Walter Prieto Maitre, under the
false identity of Sergio Tafur Vélez.

On 28 September, there was a strategic operation to buy up all the copies of
"La República" slated for sale in the city, before they were distributed.
The seizure of the newspaper was meant to prevent the information from
reaching the citizens of Jaén and the surrounding regions, because of the
reaction such news would provoke. Besides journalists, opposition leaders
and organisations have also been targeted by intelligence operations.

Father Távara also informed IPYS of the death threats received by Sausa, who
has, as a result, been hiding since 28 September until he is assured that he
will receive protection and that he can freely exercise his profession.

Sausa is an employee of Radio Marañon, which is directed by Father Távara,
and which has also reported on the Coral matter. However, the threats are
more likely connected to Sausa's work for "La República", as the printed
media has had a much greater impact on public opinion at the national level.
Furthermore, were the threats connected to the Radio Marañon reports, the
father would also have received death threats, as he is in charge of the
information the station broadcasts. There was a call to the station to tell
Sausa that he was going to be killed, but threats were not directed at the
radio station.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:
  • protesting the incidents and asking for an extensive investigation to be
  • asking that the journalist be protected

    Appeals To

    Alberto Fujimori
    President of the Republic
    Fax: +51 1 427 6722 / 426 6535

    Martha Hildebrandt Pérez
    President of Congress of the Republic
    Fax: +51 1 426 8290

    Edgardo Mosqueira Medina
    Minister of the Presidency
    Fax: +51 1 222 3678

    General Carlos Bergamino Cruz
    Minister of Defense
    Fax: +51 1 433 6906

    José Villanueva Ruesta
    General Commander of the Armed Forces
    Fax: +51 1 436 1423 / 435 4623

    Jorge Santistevan de Noriega
    Fax: +51 1 426 6657

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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