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Court revokes ruling that had exonerated radio station director

(IPYS/IFEX) - 13 June 2011 - On 7 June 2011, the Mixed and Criminal Appeals Court of Utcubamba of the Superior Court of Justice of Amazonas, revoked a ruling that had dismissed an accusation of aggravated larceny against Aurora Doraliza Burgos de Flores, deeming it unfounded. The operating licence for La Voz de Bagua radio station is in Burgos de Flores's name.

The La Voz de Bagua case goes back to mid-2009, when the Transport and Communications Ministry (MTC) cancelled the station's operating licence after the station was accused of having broadcast stories that incited the public to violence during the Bagua uprising of June 2009. After the authorities ruled in favour of the radio station in eight administrative and legal processes, the only outstanding case was the accusation against Burgos de Flores for "aggravated larceny of the radio spectrum", which was filed by the Ministry of Justice Prosecutor's Office against the licence holders. In turn, Prosecutor Olga Bobadilla Terán had requested that Burgos de Flores be sentenced to 4 years in prison and be fined 3,000 soles (approx. US$1,100) for civil damages.

Burgos de Flores's counsel filed an appeal, which was accepted during a 3 May 2011 hearing at the 2nd Preliminary Investigations Court in Utcubamba. As a result, the accusation against the radio director was dismissed. However, the Prosecutor's Office subsequently also filed an appeal.

On 7 June, the judges of the Mixed and Criminal Appeals Court of Utcubamba, Vigil Curo, Delgado Paredes and Arteaga Ramírez, decided to revoke the 3 May resolution.

IPYS condemns the judges' decision to revoke the first instance ruling and wishes to express its support for La Voz de Bagua.

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