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Journalist receives another death threat after investigating official in Huaraz

(IPYS/IFEX) - On the night of 5 August 2007, "Eco de Ancash" magazine journalist Henry Barreto Palma received another death threat by telephone. The journalist suspects that the threat may be linked to his investigations of Giovanne Villareal Salome, an official in the National Fund for Development Cooperation (FONCODES), who is alleged to have received two paychecks as a state employee, which would be illegal.

This is the third threat Barreto has received in a week. He received the first one on 2 August when a car attempted to run him over near his house in Huaraz, Ancash, northwestern Peru; someone shouted out a death threat from inside the car. He received the second one on 3 August, when he was being interviewed by Radio Miramar journalist Marcelino Sánchez. They were both threatened in a telephone call, and told to stop commenting on the official's case.

Barreto has asked the local government for protection.

Ancash is the region of Peru in which the largest number of violations of press freedom in Peru in 2007 have occurred. Since 2003, it has been ranked among the worst two regions in terms of such violations.

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