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Critical journalist killed

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 3 May 2011, Julio Castillo Narváez, presenter of Radio Ollantay's main news program, was shot six times by a group of unidentified men who appeared to be hired hit-men. The police believe a government official from La Libertad region, in northern Peru, may be implicated.

Castillo hosted the "Ollantay" news program, in the city of Virú. During his program, he sometimes harshly criticised officials, among them the representative for La Libertad, Herbert Jiménez Urquiaga. "La República" journalist Johnny Arauzo told IPYS that at the beginning of April, the radio station broadcast a recording that implicated Jiménez's wife in a dispute over land for the construction of a housing megaproject. Upset over the broadcast, the politician's wife went to the station's premises and together with her brother destroyed several pieces of equipment.

As a result, radio Ollantay's owner, Lucio Díaz, asked the authorities to provide protection for himself and his journalists. According to "La República", the authorities failed to comply with this request.

Castillo Narváez, 41 years old, was having lunch in a restaurant in Virú when he was shot by the unidentified assailants who then fled. The police told Aurazo that a death threat directed at another journalist, Rafael Sánchez, was found on Castillo's cell phone.
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