Reporters without borders expressed concern over reports that Moisés Wolfenson, owner of an opposition press group, was threatened with imprisonment by
individuals close to President Alejandro Toledo if he refused to modify his
newspapers’ editorial line in favour of the current government. "If confirmed, these practices would be a sad reminder of those in force during the presidency of Alberto Fujimori, when he threatened legal sanctions against the directors of television networks that criticised his management," stated Robert Ménard, the organisation’s secretary-general.
In a letter to President Toledo, Reporters without borders called for an inquiry into the authenticity of the threats and for the perpetrators to be punished.
According to information obtained by Reporters without borders, on 22 June 2002, Radio 11.60, an all-news radio station in Lima, revealed that Wolfenson was allegedly threatened by individuals linked to President Toledo during a meeting. The
radio station broadcast an extract of a recording of a conversation, taped
by anti-corruption police without the knowledge of the parties involved, in
which one can hear Salomón Lerner, head of a public financial organisation,
threaten Wolfenson with imprisonment if he refuses to modify his
publications’ editorial line in favour of the government. Wolfenson has
confirmed the recording’s content. He is the owner of the dailies El
Chino, El Men, Todo Sport and La Razón, a newspaper close to the
opposition party of ex-president Alan García (leftist). Accused of receiving
bribes from Vladimiro Montesinos, the former intelligence chief during
President Fujimori’s regime, Wolfenson has been subject to house arrest for
the last month.