Saturday, March 16, 2013

Peru: Molotov cocktail launched at home of Peruvian journalist


Instituto Prensa y Sociedad

On 9 March 2013, the home of journalist Teobaldo Meléndez Fachín, director of radio and TV station Lorito of Yurimaguas, was attacked by two men on a motorcycle who threw a lit Molotov cocktail bomb at the house, burning part of its roof. The attack took place in the Loreto region in eastern Peru.

The journalist, whose home was targeted in the early morning, told IPYS that he had been under constant threat since he had denounced corruption in the administration of the former mayor of Yurimaguas, Juan Daniel Mesía Camus. The situation had only got worse after he requested Mesía Camus' resignation, a state of affairs that was ultimately solved by the National Elections Jury (JNE), which eventually removed the mayor from office for violating Article 63 of the Organic Law of Municipalities by awarding contracts to two companies that were linked to him.

We should note that the mayor filed several lawsuits against Meléndez Fachín, who was even sentenced to prison, a conviction that was fortunately overturned by a Superior Court. The harassment, however, never stopped and according to the journalist, he continued to receive constant calls to his cell phone, some of them even death threats, which only increased after the JNE's decision on the former mayor was made public. The recent attack also affected a business owned by the journalist.

IPYS asks the police and the government of Yurimaguas to investigate these incidents and determine whether Mesía Camus is behind the attacks against journalist Meléndez Fachín and sanction whoever is responsible, according to the law.