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Prosecutor threatens to sue journalist for trying to photograph him

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 20 May 2008, journalist Alfonso Delgado, editor of "Opción" newspaper, said that prosecutor Tito Sirlopú Garcés prevented him from practising his profession and threatened to sue him after the journalist tried to photograph him in a public place. The event took place in the town of Moyobamba, San Martín region, northeastern Peru.

Delgado told IPYS that he saw prosecutor Garcés with former prosecutor Leonor Ichicagua and Elida Trujillo Arbildo as he walked into a restaurant. One month before, Arbildo had accused the San Martín senior prosecutor, Antonio Ruiz Sánchez, of sexual harassment. In his defence, Sánchez had argued that Arbildo was acting under the influence of Garcés and Ichicagua who wanted to remove him from his position.

The journalist attempted to take their photograph but Garcés tried to snatch his camera and threatened to sue him. He then called over a police officer and ordered that the journalist be detained. When they found out about the incident, several reporters arrived at the restaurant with the journalist's lawyer and managed to convince the prosecutor to change his mind.

Delgado is planning to file a complaint against the prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor's Internal Control Office and the Prosecutor General's Office.

On 27 May, the http:www.sanmartinenlinea.com site published an anonymous comment directed at Delgado, threatening him and reminding him that he could end up like journalist Tito Pilco Mori. Pilco was murdered in 1997 in the city of Rioja, San Martín region.

For more information on the Pilco case, see:
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/7992

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