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Anti-mining group plans to take over local radio station in Peru

On 30 August 2013, Oscar Peralta Rojas, owner of radio station "Onda Popular" of Hualgayoc, alerted IPYS that members of the Front for the Defense of the Interests of Bambamarca agreed at a meeting to take over the station's facilities because it broadcasts news that they believe oppose the anti-mining social protest. This report took place in the Cajamarca region of northeastern Peru.

Peralta reported to IPYS that one of the movement's leaders, Wilder Gallardo, told several local media outlets about the decisions made in that meeting, including taking the radio station to "punish" it for attempting to "divide the population of Hualgayoc" with biased information in favor of mining and against social demonstrations.

Peralta recalled that it is not the first time that the radio station has been attacked. In 2012, during a protest, demonstrators walked into the station's premises kicking the doors and throwing stones. They also damaged the
electrical connection that supplied electricity to the station, leaving it out of service until this day – the radio uses an electric generator to broadcast.

The journalist said he fears for his safety and that of his relatives because the radio station operates from his home. Peralta alerted the district police station to the protesters' decision so that preventive measures can be taken.

IPYS calls on the leaders of the Front for the Defense of the Interests of Bambamarca to avoid any retaliation against a media outlet that is exercising its freedom of information and opinion. It also requests the government of Cajamarca to provide protection for those affected and order the police to carry out preventive operations to avoid attacks against this local media outlet.

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