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Two journalists threatened, offered bribe not to broadcast story

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 12 August 2007, journalists José Arrieta and Carol Ruiz, of the "Panorama" programme broadcast on Panamericana Televisión, reported that they were threatened in an attempt to stop them from broadcasting a story about the alleged links of the Sánchez Paredes family to the diversion of chemical materials used in the production of cocaine hydrochloride.

According to the journalists, they received several threatening telephone calls during the investigation. However, they did not specify how many calls they received, nor the specific content of the threats. The journalists' accusation was also published by "La República" newspaper.

The news report was based on investigations by a team of the Investigation and Control of Chemical Materials and Regulated Products Department (DINANDRO), the police's drug squad. According to the police findings, siblings Santos Orlando, Amanda Francisca and Segundo Manuel Sánchez Paredes have allegedly committed the crime of "diverting chemical materials and regulated products towards unlawful drug trafficking".

The report also broadcast the recording of a telephone conversation between an individual who is allegedly linked to the family and Arrieta, in which the unidentified person offered the journalist US$10,000 so that the story would not be aired.

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