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Thugs infiltrate protest, assault journalists and attack radio station headquarters

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 30 October 2008, a group of demonstrators assaulted journalists Rodolfo Pastor, a correspondent for the weekly "El Búho" in Arequipa, and Jorge León, of the television station Perú TV, in an attempt to snatch their cameras from them. After struggling with the journalists, the demonstrators hit them with sticks and stones. The incident took place in the city of Tacna, southern Peru, on the border with Chile, during a violent protest aimed at getting the Peruvian Congress to approve a bill that would modify the distribution of mining royalties.

Pastor told IPYS that the individuals who assaulted the journalists were thugs who infiltrated the demonstrations and attacked the journalists when they realized that the violent protest was being filmed.

After setting fire to Tacna's government headquarters and attempting to seize the premises of the governing party, the Partido Aprista Peruano, the demonstrators attacked the headquarters of Radio Uno radio station and shattered all of the building's windows with stones. The thugs, who had covered their faces with balaclavas, entered the station's ground floor and attempted to take over the broadcasting booths.

IPYS condemns this assault on journalists and media outlets in Tacna, and demands that the leaders of the demonstration show respect for the press and punish those responsible for the violence.

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