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Radio station owner gets death threats over mining protest coverage

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 6 June 2012, the owner of Radio Onda Popular in Bambamarca, Óscar Lino Peralta, reported that he received a threatening phone call from José Vásquez Tinoco, member of Bambamarca's Defense Front, demanding that he should close down the news program he broadcasts over the internet because his comments, according to Vásquez Tinoco, go against the anti-mining protest that has been developing in the Cajamarca region of northern Peru.

Lino Peralta told Radio Programas del Perú (RPP) that on the afternoon of 4 June he received a phone call from Vásquez Tinoco accusing him of defaming the protest leaders, distorting the truth and receiving money from the miners. He demanded that the journalist should stop broadcasting his news program, warning him that otherwise they "would take measures".

During the conversation, which was recorded by the journalist, Vásquez Tinoco is heard saying in an intimidating tone that the way Lino Peralta presents his information is not the most adequate and that the commission (of the Defense Front) was already meeting and would decide what to do in a couple of days. The journalist took this as a categorical threat.

The journalist, who denied he is being paid to air information by the Yanacocha Mining Company, in company in charge of the controversial Conga project, also said that because he paid no heed to the warnings, on 6 June a group of around 100 protesters pushed the radio station's door, threw stones and shouted obscene words, warning him that they would set the station on fire and execute him.

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