Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Peru: After publishing document on wiretapping, journalists experience harassment and threats

Source: IFEX

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 27 January 2012, journalist Eduardo García, chief of the investigations unit of Lima TV station ATV+, denounced that he, his camera operator, and the station’s press director, have been threatened, harassed and persecuted after they published an intelligence document about a well-known case of telephone interception involving a former candidate to become mayor of Lima, Lourdes Flores Nano.

García told IPYS that on 23 January, during the program “Primera Noticia”, the journalists published an intelligence document that implicates an important businessman linked to real estate, a former police colonel and a congressman in the 'tapping' of Flores Nano's conversations.

According to García, the sources who leaked the document stated that it had been presented to the prosecutor in charge of the case, Walter Milla, but he had not taken it into account during the investigation. After the document was made public, minister of the interior Daniel Lozada described the material as apocryphal. The journalists also reported that their phones have been intercepted. They suspect the government itself is using this strategy to find out who are the sources that leaked the information.

This morning Augusto Álvarez Rodrich, director and presenter of “Primera Noticia”, arrived at the Prosecutor’s Office with his investigations team to deliver the information that was made public. Álvarez Rodrich denounced the harassment against his journalists stating that “It is not possible that the government itself is harassing and persecuting journalists who are only doing their work by denouncing acts of corruption”.

IPYS condemns the harassment suffered by these journalists and demands that the authorities identify and sanction whoever is responsible for the threats against the ATV+ investigations team.