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Journalist's work censored after newspaper is pressured by advertiser

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 9 March 2012, Jorge Pereyra Díaz, a columnist for the newspaper "Panorama Cajamarquino", reported to IPYS that the mining company Yanacocha pressured the newspaper's owner to stop publishing his columns by threatening to withdraw their advertising money. The paper circulates in the Cajamarca region of northern Peru.

Pereyra's weekly column, "A Fuego Lento", often criticized Yanacocha and the Conga mining project that the company is in charge of. A newspaper executive, whom he preferred not to identify, told him unexpectedly that his contributions would not be published any more. The executive said this had been ordered because of pressure exerted by the mining company, which is one of the newspaper's main sponsors.

The journalist told IPYS that this is not the only measure taken by the mining company to silence him. He said that several of the sponsors of his Cajamarca TV channel 21 program "Encuentros", had also informed him that Yanacocha executives had requested that they stop buying advertising from the program.

Marcos Valdés, representative of Yanacocha's Communications Unit, explained that the company does not buy advertising directly from the media, but through an advertising agency that bases its decisions on rating and circulation levels. Meanwhile, Jaime Abanto, Panorama Cajamarquino's editor-in-chief, denied Pereyra's accusation, stating that Yanacocha is not one of the newspaper's main sponsors, and that he had personally invited the journalist to continue writing his column.

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