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Thugs assault, threaten investigative journalist

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 9 October 2011, Carlos Camacho Sánchez, an investigative journalist for the "24 Horas" and "Buenos Días Perú" programmes broadcast by Panamericana Televisión, was assaulted by five individuals who intercepted him when he arrived at his home in the capital, Lima.

The journalist told IPYS that his assailants came up behind him and knocked him down as he got out of a taxi. They did not steal anything, but rather kicked and punched him without giving an explanation for their actions. As they were leaving, however, one of them shouted: "Stop f***ing around."

The journalist has recently participated in investigations involving congressional representatives, drug traffickers and high-ranking military and police officers that have led to judicial processes and dismissals. He believes, however, that the assault is related to a series of ten reports he prepared that included corruption allegations against Enrique Ocrospoma, the mayor of the district of Jesús María. The journalist believes this because a few days before the assault his colleague, José Mariño, who also works for Panamericana and participated in the same investigation, was threatened by individuals who identified themselves as members of the mayor's security team. In addition, one of the sources for the investigation into the mayor's actions also received threats via telephone calls. In both cases, the people involved used the same phrase as that used against Camacho.

The attack on the journalist left him with lacerated lips, fractured fingers and head contusions. He filed a formal complaint about the assault with the police and will be requesting protection.

IPYS condemns the actions against Camacho and calls on the police to initiate an investigation to identify and bring to justice those who were directly involved in the assault, as well as the masterminds behind it. The organisation also calls for Camacho to be provided with protection.

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