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Television station, journalists targetted

(IFJ/IFEX) - Twenty-four hours after the broadcast of a report commenting on the excesses committed by the police during a protest march held in the city of Tacna on 25 September 2000, unidentified individuals broke into the local offices of Panamericana Television and stole editing equipment valued at approximately US$10,000.

The attack occurred at dawn on Monday 16 October, a few hours after Emilio Vargas Barreda, correspondent for the television station in Tacna, reported during the Sunday programme
"Panorama" on the apparently unjustified attack on Pastor Pilco Cotrado and his companion.

Cotrado had not participated in the march. Nevertheless, three police officers mistakenly attacked him, kicking him in the face and beating him on the back with a stick, to the point where the pastor lost consciousness and suffered injuries to the head.

Vargas Barreda had also reported on a torture and assassination case, which took place in the Pachía regional police station, also in Tacna. On 12 May, two police officers allegedly tortured citizen Nelson Díaz.

The Journalist's Human Rights Office of the IFJ's Latin America section was informed of the break-in by the Peruvian National Journalists' Association (Asociacion Nacional de Periodistas del Perú). The association expressed its concern over these latest incidents, further highlighting recently reported attacks by members of the National Police against journalist Vicky Bazán Cossi, in Majes, Arequipa, while she was on duty, and against journalist Rubén Zea Bendezú, tortured in the Nazca highway patrol detachment. The association also made mention of the case of journalist Rosa Reyna, who was harassed in Congress by Parliamentarian for the ruling party Luis Cáceres Velásquez (see IFEX alerts of 11 and 4 October 2000).

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:
- calling for an investigation which would identify the authors of the attack on the property of Panamericana Television, Tacna branch, and asking them to ensure that journalists can freely exercise their profession

Appeals To


Ing. Alberto Fujimori Fujimori
President of the Republic
Fax: +51 14 266 770 / 266 535

Dra. Blanca Nelida Colan Maguiño
Attorney General
Fax: +51 14 262 474 / 264 620

Dr. Jorge Santistevan de Noriega
Fax: +51 14 266 657 / 267 800

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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