Reporters Without Borders today condemned a shooting attack on five journalists - Sandro Chambergo of the daily Correo and CPN Radio, Gerardo Pérez and Rafael Rioja of the daily La República and Paola Lee and Perla Polo of América Televisión - on 28 June near the northwestern port city of Chiclayo.
Peru holds the record in the western hemisphere for physical attacks on journalist and the toll got worse this year with the murder of Miguel Pérez Julca of Radio Éxitos on 16 March in the northwestern city of Jaén.
“We note with regret that the authorities still have not succeeded in putting a stop to these attacks on the media, which have given Peru one of the lowest press freedom rankings in the Americas,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Judicial proceedings in the cases of murders of journalists tend to get bogged down, often long after the murder, to the point of encouraging a climate of impunity. The steps taken by the interior ministry to protect journalists must be accompanied by an increase in investigative resources.”
According to the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) and the National Association of Journalists (ANP), the five journalists came under fire from gunmen when they went to cover an illegal occupation of agricultural land outside Chiclayo at the request of villagers who own the land. Eight of the villagers were injured when they intervened to protect the journalists.
“There were about 10 people who attacked us,” Chambergo said. “They opened fire on us when they saw us with the owners of the occupied land. They chased after us to take our cameras.” the police began investigating the shooting today.
Reporters Without Borders has registered 59 physical attacks on journalists, 35 cases of threats and three physical attacks on news media in Peru since the start of the year.