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Supporters of impeached mayor attack journalist in Peru

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 20 February 2013, journalist Ciro Severo Vargas Sánchez, correspondent for the newspaper Prensa Regional and journalist for Radio Melodía in Huaraz, was attacked by a group of followers of former mayor Óscar Ugarte Salazar, impeached by the National Elections Jury (JNE) after verifying that he was guilty of nepotism during his term in office. The attack took place in the district of San Marcos, in the Ancash region of northeastern Peru.

The journalist told IPYS that he was covering the controversial return of the mayor to the Municipality of San Marcos, who regained his position through an appeal, when Vargas was surprised by a mob that began hitting and insulting him.

Vargas was able to identify the brothers Martín Alcides and David Alex Trujillo Martínez as the principal attackers. They kicked him and left him wounded on the floor in full view of the authorities.

The journalist was seriously injured and his equipment was broken.

Vargas Sánchez reported the attack at a police station, accusing the Trujillo Martínez brothers of being responsible for the beating. He also requested the local government provide protection for himself and his family because, as stated to IPYS, he has been receiving threats recently.

IPYS requests that the police and the authorities of the Ancash region meet the journalist's demands for this situation that seriously infringes on freedom of expression.