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Journalist attacked after reporting on police officers

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 7 February 2012, Oscar David Rodríguez Martínez, a writer for the newspaper "El Sol de los Andes" in Huancayo, was attacked by two individuals who took his documents and his cell phone. The journalist believes the attack is connected to his reports about a group of police officers who are being prosecuted for their alleged connection to criminal mafias. Two of the officers have filed lawsuits against him. The incident took place in the Junín region of central Peru.

The journalist told IPYS that as he was waiting at a bus stop to go back home after work, one of his attackers distracted him while the other took his belongings, which were in a belt pack he had tied to his waist. Rodríguez stated that he had never before been the victim of a robbery and that this one seemed suspicious.

The journalist has been the victim of attacks and harassment since 25 November 2011 when he started publishing the reports about the four police officers. The policemen appear to be connected to a motorcycle-taxi driver gang, as well as car traffickers.

In fact, in December 2011 two of the officers, Santy Daniel Hidalgo Traverso and Tessy Perales Córdova, filed a lawsuit against the journalist with the Sixth Division of the Superior Court of Justice of Junín. Rodríguez feels outraged that the suit has been admitted even though both his accusers are facing criminal lawsuits themselves.

On 30 November 2011, "El Sol de los Andes"' press room was attacked by a crowd of people related to the police officers. The violent incident caused damage to doors, windows and some equipment.

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