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Two suspects in journalist's murder in Jaén arrested, but crime still not solved, says IPYS

(IPYS/IFEX) - The following is a 7 April 2007 IPYS statement:

Murder of journalist Pérez Julca still not solved
Statement of IPYS as representative of a party in the civil suit

IPYS, as the legal representative of the widow of journalist Miguel Pérez Julca, murdered in the city of Jaén on 17 March 2007, informs the public of the following:

1. In recent years in Peru there has been a pattern of impunity in journalists' murders, principally because the judiciary has argued that there has been insufficient evidence for convictions. Given this, IPYS has very closely followed the police investigations of Pérez Julca's murder, and believes that the police statement will be a key element in carrying out this process.

2. The evidence collected by the police pointing to José Hurtado Vásquez, now held incommunicado, as the mastermind of the crime, primarily and excessively refers to anonymous sources. For that reason, IPYS concludes that the investigations are incomplete and must be made more extensive and rigorous. In doing so, IPYS is not contradicting the main hypothesis of the police statement to the courts and to the Attorney General's office (Ministerio Público), but is rather urging the police to provide some real justification for their findings.

3. One of the facts that justify the point above is that Alí Zamudio Saavedra, alias "Balán", accused by the police and the media of being one of the direct perpetrators of the crime, has not yet made a statement, despite having been detained in Jaén since 28 March for robbery. He was interviewed today by IPYS at the San Rafael jail in Jaén, says he is innocent and that neither the police nor the prosecutor's office (fiscalía) has asked him for a statement yet. This is confirmed by an examination of the police record, signed by National Police Major Carlos Morales Guevara on 5 April 2007.

4. On behalf of the party to this civil court action, we officially request that the Criminal Court (Juzgado en lo Penal) of Jaén broaden the police investigations. In addition, we ask the interior ministry (Ministerio del Interior) to not consider the work of the police team especially assigned to this case finished until it has completed its functions in Jaén in a satisfactory manner.

Lima and Jaén, 7 April 2007

Javier Casas
Lawyer for Nelly Guevara, widow of Pérez Julca
Head of IPYS's access to information office

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