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Journalist threatened for reporting on corruption allegations; reporter beaten while covering protest

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 23 October 2008, journalist Manuel Rosas Mattos reported having received, during the early hours of that day, an anonymous telephone call warning him about a plan to attack a group of journalists, himself among them. The plan was allegedly plotted by officials from the municipality of Maynas, Loreto region, northeastern Peru.

According to Rosas, director of radio La Karibeña's program "Al Día," the other journalists mentioned were Mary Pérez of the La Voz de la Selva radio station and Caroline Arredondo of Amazonía TV. A few days before, they had broadcasted an audio tape in which the mayor of Maynas, Salomón Abensur, was heard allegedly negotiating with a former member of congress to benefit from some construction work.
Rosas said he had received a similar telephone call on 17 October, through which he was informed that a group of people, sent by a high ranking official of the municipality, was going to go to the radio station in order to intimidate him.

In a separate incident, on 21 October, a group of protesters beat "Panorama" newspaper reporter Víctor Villegas Briones with sticks when he was taking photographs of a protest against the laying of asphalt on the highways in Chota, Cajamarca region, northern Perú.

The attackers took his camera from him and only let him go after phoning the newspaper to verify that he worked there.

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