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Journalist Cecilia Valverde receives death threats after reporting on allegations of corruption

(IPYS/IFEX) - Since 20 February 2009, journalist Cecilia Valverde, presenter of Radio Armonía's programme "Veroka Noticias", has been receiving anonymous phone calls on her cell phone during which she is insulted and threatened with death. This has been taking place in the district of Pacasmayo, La Libertad region, in northern Peru.

The journalist recorded the phone calls and has pointed out that it is always the same voice. She told IPYS that the threats must be related to accusations broadcast on her programme about alleged corruption involving a food distribution programme that benefits poor mothers and children and is funded by the municipality. She accused Mayor Juan Lingán Ríos's supporters of being responsible for the threats.

Criticisms of the food programme led to the creation of an investigating committee, put forth by members of council.

On 23 February, Radio Armonía reporters arrived at the municipality to cover a meeting between the affected mothers and the mayor's representatives, but they were stopped from entering the premises. The reporters were eventually allowed in after the intervention of four of the investigating committee's members.

IPYS condemns the attempt to hinder Radio Armonía's journalists from covering the story and the threats against the journalists.

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