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Newspaper vendor's stall burned down

(OLA/IFEX) - On 6 December 2009, unidentified individuals started a fire in a newspaper stall owned by vendor Javier Ortiz Sánchez.

The incident took place at 1:30 a.m., at the intersection of Barcelona and Granada streets in the Pueblo Libre district, in Lima. Two people, whose faces were covered, sprayed fuel on the stall and lit it on fire. The structure and its contents were reduced to ashes.

Ortiz reported that his life could have been endangered because he often spends the night at his stall. He also said that the safety of his neighbours was compromised because the fire was very close to a residential gas line.

The incident was reported to the prosecutor's office. Ortiz has accused Pueblo Libre's mayor, Rafael Santos Normand, of being behind the fire. Ortiz had previously complained about the mayor after his stall was ransacked by municipal officers on 25 February.

Ortiz said that harassment and threats against him have been constant, and has accused the mayor of crimes against public security and free expression, as well as attempted murder.

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