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Supreme Court overturns acquittal of former mayor implicated in journalist's murder

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 1 February 2011, the Supreme Court of Peru overturned the acquittal of Luis Valdez, former mayor of the province of Coronel Portillo, which is located in the Ucayali region of central-eastern Peru. Valdez was accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of journalist Alberto Rivera. The mayor had been acquitted of the crime in February 2010.

According to Carlos Rivera, the attorney handling the case, the decision, which was passed by a majority vote, was based on the existence of evidence that would provide proof of the former mayor's involvement in the journalist's murder. As a result, the Supreme Court has ordered a new trial in the case.

Two unidentified assailants shot Alberto Rivera on 12 April 2004. The journalist was the host of the "Transparencia" morning radio show broadcast by the Frecuencia Oriental radio station. Rivera was known for being highly critical of the local and regional authorities. The reporter had accused Valdez of corruption in association with the sale of land that was occupied by local residents.

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