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Journalists attacked while covering protests against mining project

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 25 March 2011, Manuel Berríos and María Eugenia Salas, photographer and reporter, respectively, of the newspaper "La República", were attacked by a mob of demonstrators who oppose the Tía María mining project in Islay, Arequipa, in southern Peru.

The journalists were insulted and beaten. The protesters also attempted to take Berríos' camera from him. The demonstrators' apparent aim was to prevent the press from covering the protests. The journalists had to be protected by the police.

Other journalists working for local media also denounced that they were harassed by the locals who oppose the mining project. The Arequipa's Journalists Association issued a statement rejecting the assaults against the journalists who have been sent to the area to cover the protests. It demanded support for the press from the authorities.

The protest is led by the Front for the Defense of Cocachacra's Interests. The mining project is planned for the Cocachacra area.

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