Press association says Peru had 82 attacks on journalists in January-April

In the first four months of 2011, Peru’s National Association of Journalists (ANP) has recorded 82 attacks against journalists within the country.

Thirty-seven of the incidents were reported as verbal and physical aggression against reporters, the ANP’s human rights office said. Harassment and threats accounted for 17 cases, while administrative pressure, which includes a journalist being fired, accounted for 15.

Three cases were related to legal pressure brought against the reporters and two included damage to their equipment, secretary general Zuliana Lainez said.

Thirty-four of the cases were committed by civilians, 23 by civil servants, and 15 by police, military or neighbourhood security guards.

The area that had the most incidents was Ancash region’s Santa province (14), followed by Chiclayo with eight, and Arequipa and Utcubamba with seven each. Coronel Portillo province, in Ucayali region, had five. Lima and Puno provinces also had five each.

Thirty of the incidents were related to television journalists, 29 against written reporters and 23 against radio workers.

“In Peru, we don’t have the murder rates [of journalists] that are registered in Mexico or Honduras, nevertheless, it is marked as a place with a lot of physical violence against journalists,” Lainez said.

“The level of intolerance of journalism, fundamentally from local, regional and even central government authorities, maintains our country among one of the more difficult ones to carry out the profession.”

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