Freedom of Expression


Aggression and threats


186.  On 14 January 2002, the Prefect of the Department of Loreto, Joaquín Planas Morelly, assaulted journalist Darwin Paniagua, a reporter for Radio La Voz de la Selva de Iquitos, in the offices of the Prefecture. The journalist was visiting the Prefecture together with Javier Medina, a correspondent for the newspaper El Comercio of that city, to obtain a response from the highest political authority of the Loreto region to an accusation from a member of the political party Perú Posible, that he had ordered the sequestration and beating of government party activists a few days prior to the assault, during a demonstration in which the Regional Department of Education had been occupied by demonstrators.[i]


187.  On 5 August 2002, journalist Henry Ramírez, of Televisión Nacional del Perú (TNP), Luz Martínez of Frecuencia Latina (Canal 2), and Perla Villanueva of Canal N, were attacked by workers of the agribusiness Casa Grande, of Trujillo (north of Lima), demanding overdue back payment of their salaries.  A group of demonstrators beat the reporters as they were covering the story and attempted to seize their video cameras.[ii]


188.  On 24 October 2002, a group of 10 journalists were attacked by members of the National Police of Peru as they were covering a story outside of the Congress of the Republic.  Juan Carlos Sánchez, a reporter for the program “La grúa radial” of Radio Comas, and cameraman Juan Carlos Matías Sánchez, of Frecuencia Latina, suffered head injuries.  In addition, a reporter for América TV, Elizabeth Rubianes, and her cameraman Jorge Castañeda, were affected by a tear gas bomb thrown very close to them by police officers .[iii]


Access to information


189.  According to the information received, representatives of the Regional Board of Directors (CTAR) of Loreto have been denying requests for information of public interest by radio station La Voz de la Selva of the city of Iquitos, Loreto department, in the eastern jungles of Peru.  In a letter dated 15 February 2002 to Mr. Fidel Torres Ramírez, Chairman of the CTAR, La Voz de la Selva requested information on the Board's current budget and payroll, with a breakdown by salary.  The purpose was to inform the public on how state resources were being distributed and handled.  In response to this negative response from the authorities of the CTAR, the director of La Voz de la Selva, Miss Julia Jáuregui Rengifo, visited the Ombudsman of Iquitos on 27 March, represented by Dr. María del Carmen Solórzano, to request that he intervene, by virtue of the powers vested in him by the Constitution, and enforce the right of citizens to have access to information of public interest.  Dr. Solórzano has already filed a document with the CTAR of Loreto requiring it to turn over the information requested pending a response.[iv]




190.  The Public Information Transparency and Access Act was promulgated on 3 August 2002. The law is undergoing a process of modification after members of the civil society presented observations.


[i] Id., January 14, 2002.

[ii] Id., and Association of Latin American Journalists, August 2, 2002.

[iii]Id., October 24, 2002.

[iv]Id., April 9, 2002.