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Protesting teachers intimidate journalists in Huanta, beat and threaten another in Tingo María

(IPYS/IFEX) - Journalists have been recently mistreated by teachers in two different regions of Peru. In one instance, a journalist received death threats.

On 12 and 13 July 2007, several journalists from the city of Huanta were obliged by a group of teachers to sign a statement promising that they would surrender all the photographs as well as audio and video tapes of the protests carried out by the striking teachers in the region of Ayacucho, southern Peru.

The journalists were: Renato Sapaico, of radio station Huanta 2000; Carlos Buendía, of the newspaper "Correo"; Alejandro Coronado, a correspondent for América TV; Máximo Palomino, of Canal 11 television station; Saúl Montero, of Amauta radio station; and Wilder Cisneros, a contributor to Radio Programas del Perú. The teachers also tried to take Cisneros's cell phone as he was interviewing Governor Vladimir Montero, who was detained by the striking teachers for several hours. The demonstrators' aggressive manner forced Cisneros to finish his report while hiding in a nearby home.

In a separate incident, on the morning of 19 July, Miguel Satalaya, a camera operator for the television station Uranio 15, was beaten by a group of striking teachers who were attempting to boycott the resumption of classes at the Sagrada Familia school. The event took place in the city of Tingo María, in Huánuco region, central Peru.

The journalist told IPYS that he was filming the graffiti painted by the demonstrators on the school door when a group of them cornered him and, demanding that he stop filming, attempted to snatch his camera from him. They then threw him to the ground and beat him.

Satalaya's colleagues came to his rescue. However, that afternoon the cameraman received two anonymous death threats to his cell phone.

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