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Radio station ransacked in anti-government protest

(RSF/IFEX) - The studios of local station Radio Sicuani, in the Canchis province of the southern region of Cuzco, were ransacked on 24 October 2008 by about 30 demonstrators wielding sticks and stones who burst into the building, smashed or stole equipment and forced the station off the air. Fortunately, the attack did not result in any victims.

Station chief Doris Ochoa said the attack was to punish the station for its reporting of a local agricultural protest movement called "People's Uprising," which claims support from farmers, shopkeepers and students, and opposes President Alan García's government, especially its handling of the country's mineral resources.

Reporters Without Borders deplores the attack and calls for organisations and trade unions supporting the movement to respect media independence. It urges the authorities to ensure the safety of the station's staff. The station will resume broadcasting on 28 October.

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