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Drunken congressman attacks journalists

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 16 October 2011, journalists Carlos Chávez Galdós and Leucario Madera Guardaluna, reporters for TV stations Compañía de TV Cuzqueña and Canal 47 de Cuzco respectively, reported that Congressman Rubén Coa Aguilar's bodyguards and the security personnel of a nightclub physically attacked them and took their video cameras. The journalists had surprised the congressman while he was drunk. This took place in the city of Cuzco in southern Peru.

According to the journalists' reports to several media outlets in Lima, other nightclub patrons recognized Coa Aguilar and called the journalists. They managed to videotape Coa Aguilar on arrival, but as soon as he realized what was happening, he asked six security guards, some of them his own, and the other nightclub workers, to hit the journalists, take their equipment and delete their videos.

Chávez and Madera said that after the incident, Coa Aguilar fled through a back door with two women who were with him. The two journalists, who have already filed a formal complaint in the local police station, suffered bruises all over their bodies. Their video recorders have been returned but not the memory cards.

When approached by the press several hours later, Coa Aguilar denied his participation in the attack. He admitted he had been in the nightclub but said it was a family gathering. The journalists regret they cannot prove their accusation with images.

IPYS condemns the aggression against Chávez and Madera and requests the necessary investigations be carried out to determine who was responsible.

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