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Journalist Luis Rivas shot while covering squatters' eviction

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 20 January 2009, journalist Luis Rivas, a correspondent for the newspaper "La República," was shot in the right leg while he was covering the eviction of 1,500 squatters who had illegally settled in the Bosque de Pómac historic sanctuary, in the Lambayeque region of northern Peru.

Other reporters working for several media outlets were also attacked by the mob of invaders and had to take cover behind the walls of a school in the middle of the woods.

Rivas was seen to by Ministry of Health personnel who were at the site to aid the wounded. He told IPYS that even though his wound was not serious, he has requested a leave of absence because his leg became swollen as the hours went by.

During the eviction, which was carried out without warning, two police officers died and more than twelve people were wounded. In this situation, the journalists were exposed to all kinds of risks because the squatters, who had firearms, sticks and stones, charged at the press in an attempt to prevent them from reporting on the violent nature of the eviction.

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