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Striking teachers threaten journalists in Huaraz, assault journalist in Lima, harass another in Andahuaylas

(IPYS/IFEX) - There have been several new acts of aggression by striking teachers toward journalists in different parts of the country.

On 26 June 2007, a group of members of the Peruvian Education Workers' Union (Sindicato Unitario de Trabajadores de la Educación del Perú, SUTEP) in Huaraz, northwestern Peru, threatened to assault reporters in the city covering the protest the union has been carrying out for eight days now. The union members accuse the journalists of "misinforming" the public.

In a separate incident, on 4 July, Panamericana Televisión station journalist José Mariño was set on by a group of teachers belonging to SUTEP, as he was covering the protest that they were carrying out in downtown Lima. The assailants belong to the Union's most radical faction, SUTEP's Struggle Committee (Comité de Lucha), led by Robert Huaynalaya.

The teachers surrounded Mariño while accusing him of misinforming the public. The journalist asked them about their demands but they responded to his questions with insults. When he protested, he was struck in the face. The police helped him to escape. The reporter filed a complaint at the local police station.

In a third incident, on 5 July, a group of teachers, members of SUTEP in Andahuaylas, in southeastern Peru, insulted and broke the camera of Chanka Visión television station reporter Néstor Mamani, as he was covering a meeting in the headquarters building, Casa del Maestro, where the teachers were planning strike-related actions.

SUTEP has called a national strike of indefinite duration; for that reason, IPYS requests that the union's leaders order its members to respect journalists' work.

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