Elías Navarro Palomino, the editor of the local weekly Línea Roja and correspondent of the national daily La República, has told Reporters Without Borders he is still being threatened five months after he was the target of dynamite explosion (see release of 4 October 2006). In the latest incident, two strangers came looking for him at his home in the southern city of Ayacucho at night and questioned neighbours about him.
“The authorities clearly do not understand the extent of the danger to which Navarro has been exposed since the 30 September bombing and the many threats and attacks he has received before and afterwards,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The protection he was getting until January should be extended. And we are surprised the investigation into the September incident has not produced any result.”
The National Association of Journalists (ANP) reported that two unidentified women knocked on the doors of Navarro’s neighbours on the night of 24 February trying to locate where he lives. They asked one neighbour: “Does Elías Navarro Palomino, the La República journalist, live here? In the house opposite, they said he does.”
The neighbour finally told them where he lived. The two women immediately knocked on Navarro’s door and asked his young daughter, who opened, if he lived there. They went on to ask how many people lived there and if any members of the family were away on a trip. After interrogating the girl, they asked her to fetch an adult. But by the time Navarro came to the door, they had fled.
“I have constantly been threatened by telephone since the 30 September bombing,” he told Reporters Without Borders. “I had police protection until the end of January, but not any more. So I have to be on the watch, especially at night, when I sometimes see suspicious people prowling around my home. All this is linked to my reporting on corruption. I am very worried for myself and my family.”
Navarro is convinced that all of this is linked to his work as a journalist. He also says be is “worried about the fate of the Peruvian press.”
In the 30 September incident, a dynamite charge was set off near his home after he reported on a case of alleged embezzlement in a savings and loans cooperative based in Santa María Magdalena. He had been attacked and threatened prior to that.