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Journalist receives further threats

(ANP/IFEX) - Journalist Carlos Torres, a correspondent with radio Panamericana in Sucre, the capital of Bolivia, reported that on 9 January 2011 he received two anonymous death threats via his mobile phone. Torres had previously received a similar death threat on 3 January.

The first message, received at 6:24 p.m., said, "If you continue talking in the media about the anti-racism law, your death will come soon. Better to shut up." This threat was in reference to Articles 16 and 23 of the law which, according to journalists' groups in the country, limit free expression. The sender was identified by the number 991, which suggests that the message was sent from an Internet café.

The second message, received at 6:25 p.m., said, "Death. I'm going to kill you with a shot to the head. Don't complicate things. You should step down from being the leader of the 'lackey' press." The message came from bolivia-sms.com. Torres is Secretary General of the Chuquisaca Press Workers Federation.

Torres said that he filed a complaint with the police on 10 January, asking them to open an investigation into the threats. The case will be brought to the attention of the Attorney General's office, which will request further information from the national telecommunications authority (Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, ENTEL) since the messages were apparently sent from Internet cafés.

The police told Torres that they would monitor the case. ANP is concerned about the threats against the journalist, calling them "cowardly", and says it will follow up with the police to clarify what is being done about the threats.

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