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Journalist shot after reporting on police corruption

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 5 November 2011, Feliciano Gutiérrez Suca, a correspondent for the daily "La República" based in Juliaca, was shot in the leg by masked gunmen, presumably in an attempt to silence him after he reported on a group of police officers allegedly involved in an extortion scheme in the Puno region of southern Peru.

According to a report published in "La República", the journalist was leaving his home on the evening of 5 November in the company of a colleague when they were ambushed by four unidentified men. The men attempted to overpower Gutiérrez, grabbing him by the legs and shooting him twice. They also stole money, mobile phones and a camera from the journalist and his colleague.

Gutiérrez was immediately transferred to a local hospital, where he is being treated for wounds to his left leg. He believes that the unidentified men's intention was not to kill him but rather to scare him because of his recent report about police officers allegedly extorting smugglers.

Although Gutiérrez himself had not received any threats relating to the article prior to the attack, another journalist who publicised the accusation, Hugo Sucacahua of Panamericana TV, received telephone calls warning him to stop disseminating the story.

IPYS condemns the attack on Gutiérrez and demands that the authorities immediately investigate the case in order to determine who was behind it and punish those involved in accordance with the law.

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