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Peruvian journalist assaulted while covering illegal mining operations

On May 24, 2015, three unknown individuals beat journalist Manuel Calloquispe and seized his equipment while he was gathering information about clandestine activities of a criminal organization which operates in the area and is involved in the illegal extraction of gold. The incident occurred in a port in the Madre de Dios region, in southeastern Peru.

The journalist had been told by a source that illegal mining operations were conducted at this port through a clandestine dredger. Calloquispe arrived at the scene to cover the events and recorded video footage. He also collected testimony and photographed these activities, confirming how the dredge is being operated with impunity even though the use of such tools is prohibited.

According to information acquired by Calloquispe, these illegal operations are led by Nicolas Diaz Baños, dubbed as "Flaco Díaz", and who according to local press is a dealer in the process of formalizing his activities.

With all of this information, the journalist returned to the city and on his way back he was intercepted by a group of youths who beat him and stole his equipment. The journalist was able to confirm that they were people sent by Diaz in order to prevent the reporting of this information by media.

Calloquispe was rescued by a citizen who accompanied him to the local police station where he filed a complaint on what had happened.

IPYS condemns the aggression against this journalist and calls on the authorities to take immediate action against those found responsible for these acts,which seriously undermine journalistic work.

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