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Peru9 June 2004

Three new arrests in the Alberto Rivera Fernández murder case

Police on 29 May said that Samuel Gonzales Pinedo had ordered the murder of journalist Alberto Rivera Fernández. He had confessed to paying two men to "frighten" the journalist but not to kill him. He admitted asking for help from his cousin Erwin Pérez Liendo, who apparently lent his motorbike to the killers, who have still not been found. Police at the time believed it to be a crime of passion. On 3 June, Pinedo retracted and said that four people close to the Coronel Portillo council in the Pucallpa district were mixed up in the murder. On 8 June it was learned that two new suspects, both council officials, had been charged in connection with the investigation. The first, Roy Gavino Cullqui Saurino, employed by the press and public relations department of the Coronel Portillo mayor’s office, was arrested on 1 June. The second suspect, Martin Ignacio Flores Vásquez, was arrested on 4 June. He works for the municipal water and sewerage company in Coronel Portillo (EMAPACOPSA), the chairman of which is town mayor, Luis Valdez Villacorta. It was further learned that Erwin Pérez Liendo is currently being held and now suspected of hiring the two officials. The journalist’s family said they had been threatened and that some witnesses had been ruled out of the investigation.



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In highly suspicious move, terrorism charges brought against left-wing investigative reporter
11 December - Peru
President says jailed TV host should be freed
19 September - Peru
Death threats made against journalist specialising in highly sensitive investigations
9 September - Peru
Impunity blamed for a new wave of threats and attacks on provincial journalists
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Editor of weekly forced into hiding after death threat

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