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Regional leader's guards attack two journalists covering court case in Peru

On 22 August 2013, Carlos Vargas, a reporter for the Channel 35 program "En Directo", and cameraman Guillermo Díaz, of the Channel 19 program "Contraluz" in Iquitos, were physically attacked by the security guards of Luis Lozano Escudero, vice president of the Loreto region, located in western Peru.

The attack occurred when Lozano Escudero was at the local offices of the Public Prosecutor where he had been summoned to make a statement as part of an investigation against him. This is part of a case involving the papers used to collect signatures last year in an attempt to remove the regional leader, Yván Vásquez Valera.

Journalists Vargas and Díaz were punched and kicked by some of Lozano's security guards to stop them from interviewing the official. The beating took place within the premises of the Public Prosecutor's offices.

Vargas told IPYS that he was hit in the mouth by one of the security guards and that this was seen by Vice President Lozano as he arrived to make his statement. Diaz was also beaten and managed to record images of the aggressive and threatening attitude of the guard that charged him.

IPYS condemns these violent actions against journalists, a situation that has been repeated in Loreto less than four months after an angry crowd incited by the regional government attempted to attack journalist Manuel Rosas, who was regarded as the regional leader's opponent.

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