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Critical radio journalist hit by striking unionists

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 16 November 2007, a group of demonstrators, members of the Public Works Construction Worker's Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores de Construcción Civil, STCC), hit journalist Mayra Azán Mestanza as she was covering a protest from inside the offices of the Punchana's District Council, in Loreto region of northern Peru.

The demonstrators gathered at the council building's main door to demand employment in public works projects. The journalist, who was taking photographs of the event, was struck in the hand with a stick and sustained a minor injury.

Azán Mestanza is a reporter for radio station Arpegio Mix's programme "La Voz de la Calle". The programme is critical of union violence in general, and the journalist was strongly critical of the STCC leaders as the current strike was in planning. It was presumably in retaliation for her reporting that she was struck. The STCC is considered to be one of the most militant of Peruvian unions.

The union's secretary general, Segundo Piña Yaicate, denied that the demonstration had been violent.

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