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Journalist receives death threats

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 7 June 2010, Nino Orson Soria Arévalo, journalist and financial manager of Lorecom S.A., the company that owns Canal 6 TV and radio Doble A, received several text messages from unknown individuals threatening to kill him, his mother and his daughter. This took place in Yurimaguas, northern Peru.

The journalist requested protection from the government of Alto Amazonas on the same day he was threatened.

In the text messages the aggressors demanded that Soria Arévalo should order the TV station's workers to "stop talking”. They also suggested that he should look after his mother and daughter because they may "receive a visit". "I will hit you where it hurts the most," states one of the messages.

Although the threats are anonymous, the journalist suspects the current mayor of Alto Amazonas province, Héctor Hidalgo Rojas, and the political group he represents, Fuerza Loretana. Both Canal 6 TV and radio Doble A are critical of Hidalgo's administration. The mayor, however, wants to run again in the next elections.

When asking for protection Soria Arévalo also identified Luis Venancio Arévalo Vásquez, a member of Fuerza Loretana who is running for a position in Loreto's regional government, as a possible suspect.

Canal 6 and Doble A have denounced several irregularities in the mayor's administration, such as the use of public resources to finance Hidalgo Rojas's campaign.

IPYS condemns these threats. It also demands an investigation and sanctions for those who turn out to be responsible.

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