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Suspects arrested in journalist's murder

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 16 September 2011, the police arrested the alleged murderers of journalist Pedro Alonso Flores Silva, director of Casma's Channel 6 program "Visión Agraria". The arrests come eight days after he died from a fatal gunshot wound in the Nuevo Chimbote hospital in Ancash, northern Peru.

According to different media outlets, the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police (Seincri) first detained Emilio José Ciriaco Ágreda, 18, also known as Macuto, a hired killer who then led police to the capture of Rubén Darío Castillo Antaihua, 42, also known as Viejo, a known criminal who acknowledged having hired Ciriaco Ágreda.

The police also detained a third man known only as Alex. The police, however, are certain that Castillo Antaihua did not proceed on his own initiative. It is said that the real mastermind of Flores Silva's murder is someone who is from the area where the journalist used to work.

As mentioned in a previous alert, on the evening of 6 September, an unidentified person intercepted Flores Silva near his home in Casma and shot him twice. The journalist was immediately taken to a hospital in Nuevo Chimbote and died two days later from a generalized infection.

Flores Silva and his widow, Mercedes Cueva Abanto, who is also a journalist, used their program to denounce alleged acts of corruption by certain authorities. One of the people named on their show was Marco Rivera Huertas, mayor of the district of Comandante Noel, who had sued the couple.

In fact, the police has already summoned Rivera Huertas and his colleague in the province of Casma , José Montalván Macedo, for questioning, but they denied any involvement in the incident.

Flores Silva was the second journalist killed in Peru in 2011. In May, Julio Castillo Narvaez was killed in Virú, La Libertad region. José Oquendo Reyes was murdered in Chincha, Ica region, on 14 September.

IPYS insists that the relevant authorities carry out the necessary investigations to find and arrest the people who planned and carried out the murders of these three journalists.

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