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Journalists receive death threat after investigating local councilor

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 9 October 2011, journalists Luis García Heras and Sandro Malca Baca, presenters of Radio Armonía program "La Hora 13", in the district of Casa Grande, received a death threat. The owner of another radio station, Leónidas Pizarro Gallardo, who is the father of a public official whom the reporters are investigating, issued the threat. The incident took place in the La Libertad region, in northern Peru.

The journalists reported the threat during a press conference, adding that Pizarro also attempted to attack them physically. García and Malca have produced journalistic reports showing documents, according to which Pizarro's daughter, Estrella Pizarro, councilor of the municipality of Casa Grande and president of the public entertainment and revenues commission, allegedly favored a particular events promoter that received a contract to organize a dance, ignoring a municipal ordinance that forbade this.

Malca told IPYS that the company favored by the councilor was not legally established, meaning that it should never have received governmental permits for the dance. He also said that the company's owner, José Palacios, had allegedly gone through the process of getting the permits on behalf of the councilor's father, which, if true would amount to a crime of corruption.

The journalists, who have also received threatening calls and emails, wanted to ask for personal protection, but a change to the district government prevented them from doing so.

IPYS condemns this threat against the journalists and requests that the authorities provide the protection necessary to safeguard their lives.

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