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Cajamarca mayor denies information to media outlets critical of his administration

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 19 June 2008, Cajamarca mayor Marco La Torre Sánchez announced that he would not answer any questions posed by television station Canal 25 Line journalist Aleida Dávila so long as she continues criticizing his administration. He made the declaration during a press conference, after the journalist asked about the reason for an official trip to Cusco planned by the mayor and his advisors. The incident took place in the Cajamarca region of northern Peru.

The journalist told IPYS that she had criticized the mayor when he returned unspent government revenues from mining royalties, despite the region's many needs. After the mayor's refusal to speak to Dávila, other journalists at the conference reprimanded him for his attitude, to which he replied that he would not answer the questions of journalists from any media outlet critical of him.

IPYS urges La Torre to change his attitude, and considers his decision not to answer public interest questions to be arbitrary and contrary to the principals of transparency and governmental accountability. In his position as an elected authority, the mayor is obliged to respond to the press; denying public information to the media is tantamount to denying it to the public at large.

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