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Journalist assaulted while covering strike in Chimbote

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 11 and 12 April 2007, journalist Augusto Riera was beaten and insulted by activists of the Civil Construction (Construcción Civil) union, while he was covering a protest called by the Front for the Defence of Santa Province (Frente de Defensa de la Provincia del Santa) and the Front for the Interests of the People of Huaraz (Frente por los Intereses del Pueblo de Huaraz), which took place in the city of Chimbote, Ancash region, in northwestern Peru.

Riera is a reporter with the station Radio Programas del Peru and is the editor of the on-line daily "ojoajeno.com" ( http://www.ojoajeno.com ). The strike, during which two people have already died, seeks to pressure the central government to transfer resources and administrative responsibilities to the regional Ancash government, and to cede to other demands.

On 11 April, delinquents who had infiltrated the protest robbed Josué Ibarra, of "La Industria" daily newspaper, of his camera, though he recovered it hours later.

The protestors are unhappy with the press because, they assert, media reports have not been supportive of their strike action.

IPYS calls on the regional authorities to promote calm and to ensure that the protestors are not provoked to violence.

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