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IAPA pleased with sentencing of journalist's murderers

(IAPA/IFEX) - The following is a 10 February 2006 IAPA press release:

IAPA pleased with sentences against murderers of journalist

Miami (February 10, 2006) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) joins the Peruvian Press Council (CPP, for its Spanish acronym) in welcoming the guilty verdict and sentencing of five individuals for the murder of journalist Alberto Rivera Fernández, killed in Peru on April 21, 2004.

IAPA and CPP representatives who followed the trial attended the reading of the verdict, on February 7 at a courthouse in Coronel Portillo province, sentencing Edwin Pérez Pinedo and Angel Mendoza Casanova to 30 years in prison; Roy Culqui Taurino and Martín Flores Vázquez to 25 years, and Tercero Samuel Gonzales Pinedo to ten years in prison.

The chairman of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gonzalo Marroquín, said "we are satisfied with this ruling made by the Peruvian court and are confident that this murder will be completely solved, as will other unpunished crimes."

Other individuals suspected of involvement in the journalist's murder will go to trial during the first week in March: Luis Valdez Villacorta, mayor of Coronel Portillo; Solio Ramírez Garay, former president of the Civil Division of the Superior Court of Ucayali; Jorge Barrantes Aguilar, employed at the Mayor's office; and Lito Pizango Fasabi.

In September 2005, the IAPA and the CPP organized a joint mission in Peru during which they met with officials in Lima and in Pucallpa (860 kilometers northeast of the capital) and demanded that the masterminds and perpetrators of the murder of Rivera Fernández, host of the program "Transparencia" on Frecuencia Oriental radio, be identified.

Marroquín, director of the Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre, noted that the Declaration of Pucallpa, signed on September 20, 2005, by the IAPA, CPP, and the Press and Society Institute (IPYS), is an important tool that will allow the organisations to unite forces and prepare joint action plans to fight impunity and attacks against journalists in Peru.

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