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Peruvian journalists attacked and threatened by demonstrators opposing mining project

On May 14, 2015, Alonso Ramos, a correspondent for Frecuencia Latina TV station, was wounded in the leg while covering a clash between protesters and police. He was hit by a stone thrown by a protester and was taken to a hospital for treatment for a possible knee fracture. Three other reporters were beaten with sticks, another was threatened with lynching and a radio station was attacked by protesters. The incidents occurred in the cities of Cocachacra and Arequipa, where a violent protest against the Tia Maria mining project has been ongoing for more than 50 days.

Jonathan Bárcena, reporter for the daily La República, was threatened with death if he continued to take pictures of the protest.

Victoria Bazan Cossi, from JBC Radio, was assaulted by police who beat her using their shields while she was filming clashes between protesters and the police, and Elmo Rivera Medina, from Channel 10-ATV, was beaten by demonstrators who broke his camera.

In Arequipa, where there is a regional strike in protest against the mining project, more than a hundred unionized construction workers who were attacking a group of policemen turned against local television reporters once they realized they were being filmed. The journalists were beaten with sticks.

Exitosa Radio Station of Arequipa ended up with shattered windows when a mob of hooded demonstrators attacked its facilities after the radio station made public calls for calm on its airwaves. Journalists for Exitosa Radio reported that the attack came in retaliation because according to the demonstrators “the radio did not give enough support to the strike". At night, the attackers resumed throwing stones at the windows. Local police are currently protecting the facility.

IPYS condemns these new attacks against journalists who are reporting social protests in Arequipa, and who are threatened and beaten not only for reporting the facts, but –as in the case of Exitosa Radio–for informing in a way which the protesters consider unfavorable to their strike. IPYS will support the criminal complaint filed by the victims against those found responsible for these attacks on the press.

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