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Two television reporters attacked in Pucallpa

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 6 August 2007, two journalists in the city of Pucallpa, in northeastern Peru, were attacked separately in puzzling incidents. América Televisión camera operator Víctor López Torres was hit in the face and body by an unidentified person while he was walking on the Federico Basadre highway. In a separate incident the same day, Douglas Torres Laos - a correspondent for another television station, ATV - was pursued by three men on motorcycles when he was heading home on his own motorcycle. According to Torres Laos, when the men chasing him began shooting, he crashed into the sidewalk, sustaining mild injuries. Local residents came to Torres Laos's assistance, the assailants fled, and Torres Laos was taken to hospital, where a doctor examined his injuries, releasing him later the same day.

Both journalists cover various issues, including drug trafficking, illegal logging and the corruption of public employees. Neither journalist rules out the possibility that the incidents may be related to their work. They have both filed complaints at the local police station.

IPYS will investigate both cases to determine the motives for the attacks. IPYS notes that both journalists work for national television stations and that organised crime groups have been trying to intimidate the press, especially those segments of the media with national audiences.

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