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Journalist receives death threat after reporting on local administration

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 25 January 2012, journalist Moisés Campos, director and presenter of the weekly program "Noticias TV", told IPYS that he received a threatening leaflet warning him that he would be killed if he continues to investigate Mayor Corina De la Cruz. The leaflet was slipped under the door of his house, in Tocache, San Martín region, in northeastern Peru.

Campos told IPYS that in December 2011 he broadcast part of an interview with "comrade Artemio" in his program. Artemio is the last leader of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) guerilla group still in hiding, and was interviewed by national and foreign journalists. During the interview, the terrorist denied allegations made by De la Cruz months earlier, accusing him of being behind attempts to extort her in exchange for her safety.

According to the journalist, this interview upset the Tocache residents, who called for the mayor's removal from office.

Campos told IPYS that since he broadcast the news piece, he has been repeatedly slandered by Francisco de la Cruz, the mayor's brother, who hosts a local program on Radio Solar. According to Campos, De la Cruz has accused him of being a "Senderista" (supporter of Sendero Luminoso) and even of having participated in a terrorist attack on a police station in the Huánuco region.

Campos, however, continued to investigate the mayor. On 24 January, he published an interview showing an embezzlement of funds in public works put out to tender by De la Cruz. He received the threatening leaflet, which also mentions his family, the following day. The journalist has already filed a formal complaint at the Tocache police station and has requested protection.

On 19 August 2011, Ketty Vela, a Radio and TV San Juan journalist in Tocache, told IPYS that a hit man confessed to her he had been hired to kill her, but he refused to do because he knew her. The journalist had also been investigating the mayor.

IPYS protests against the harassment and threats against Campos and demands that Mayor Corina De la Cruz stop threatening the press that monitors her administration. IPYS also calls on the relevant authorities to grant protection to Campos and his family in order to prevent any attacks against them.

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