Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Peru13 April 2005

Journalist flees town following threat from coca growers

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the fate of journalist Miguel Carpio Tananta of Radio Marginal and the municipal TV station Frecuencia 5 in the northwestern city of Tocache who had to flee the city after receiving death threats on 5 April. Local coca leaf growers accused him of being a government agent after the prime minister screened one of his TV reports at a press conference.

"We firmly condemn the threats that forced Miguel Carpio to stop working and we call for a thorough investigation and the punishment of those responsible," the press freedom organization said.

Reporters Without Borders added: "Bearing in mind the extreme tension in this region of drug trafficking, we appeal to the leaders of the coca growers to maintain calm within their movement and we urge them to distinguish between a journalist’s work and the use others make of it."

Carpio fled after a phone call warning him that he would be "the next to be murdered" and that the order for his execution came from the National Grouping of Coca Leaf Growers. He told the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), a Peruvian press freedom organization, that he feared reprisals against his wife and three children.

The producer and presenter of the programme "El Informe" on Frecuencia 5, Carpio covered a public meeting of coca growers on 14 November at which they elected their local leaders. Four days later, the station broadcast the entire report.

At a news conference on 27 February, Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero Costa screened a section of the report in which the deputy leader of the coca growers, Nancy Obregón, acknowledged that much of their coca crop ended up being used for cocaine production and trafficking. Ferrero told the press that he had received the video footage from the intelligence services.

Outraged at being branded as drug traffickers, the coca growers accused Carpio of defaming them and of being an agent in the pay of the government. Carpio has all along insisted that he never distributed or sold any copies of the report.

In this country
13 January - Peru
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
6 May - Peru
Editor of weekly forced into hiding after death threat

in the annual report
Peru - Annual Report 2008
Peru - Annual report 2007
Peru - Annual report 2006

14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro