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Five journalists assaulted on first day of state of emergency

Peruvians in London protest the Yanacocha gold mine project
Peruvians in London protest the Yanacocha gold mine project

Sean Comiskey/ Eyes on Rights

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 4 July 2012, at least five journalists were assaulted by police while they were covering events in Cajamarca, northern Peru, on the first day of a state of emergency declared by the central government a day after a violent episode that left three people dead during anti-mining protests.

IPYS received a report that a National Police officer beat the director of the newspaper El Mercurio, Ramiro Sánchez, with his baton, while, after several confrontations between the police and demonstrators, a teargas canister thrown at a group of journalists who were covering the incidents injured photographer Frank Chávez Silva.

A few hours later, in Amalia Puga square, right in front of Cajamarca's I Police Station, ATV television station reporter Francisco Landauri Miranda and camera operator Néstor Galarza Mandujano, as well a Yudith Cruzado Lobato, a reporter for Radio Programas del Perú (RPP), were pushed and struck with batons by members of the National Police's Rapid Intervention Team when they were seeking information about the detention of former priest Marco Arana, one of the leaders of the anti-mining protests.

On 3 July police reacted to a demonstration in which tensions were running high, with an end result of three people dead, among them a young student, in the province of Celendín, where the controversial Conga mining project is located. The second series of protests against the project was initiated on 31 May, while the first occurred in November and December 2011.

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