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Radio journalists receive death threats in Aucayacu and Bellavista

(IPYS/IFEX) - In two separate incidents, a total of five journalists received death threats.

In leaflets left at the door of City Hall in Aucayacu, Huánuco region in central Peru on 15 December 2007, individuals alleged to be members of the terrorist organization Sendero Luminoso threatened four journalists. The leaflets warn the journalists not to leave their homes in order to avoid "fatal consequences". The leaflet also brands the journalists as "corrupt", and accuses them of being "informers" and infiltrators from the police and army.

The threatened journalists are: Ranforte Lozano and Segundo Ramírez of Radio Aucayacu, and Novel Panduro and Cirilo Velásquez of Radio Luz. The journalists have filed a complaint about the incident with the Aucayacu police.

Drug traffickers and terrorists are responsible for many deaths in Aucayacu. IPYS condemns the threats and urges the authorities to ensure the journalists' safety and to investigate the death threats.

In a separate incident, on 11 December Teodoro Reátegui Ramírez, director and host of the Radio Teleritmo program "Telenoticias", was threatened with death by Francisco Portocarrero Mori, brother of an alleged criminal who had been arrested a few days before. The event took place in the town of Bellavista, San Martín region, in northeastern Peru.

The incident took place as the journalist arrived at the station. The assailant threatened him, demanding that the journalist stop broadcasting information about his brother and his alleged connections to a criminal organization.

Reátegui Ramírez filed a complaint about the incident with the Bellavista police, and requested protection from the local government.

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