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Judge Raúl Rosales Mora and his gun. (Caretas)

Caretas, the leading newsweekly magazine in Perú, has a shocking photograph on its February 18 cover: a local judge aiming a gun at one of the publication’s reporters. Photojournalist Carlos Saavedra was on a stakeout trying to photograph Judge Raúl Rosales Mora when the incident occurred on February 13, according to CPJ interviews and local news reports.  

The magazine was working on a story about a controversial decision by Rosales, who had recently favored the appointment of a polemical judge to the country’s Constitutional Tribunal, the Peruvian press reported.

Press freedom conditions improved markedly in Peru during 2001. The victory of centrist Alejandro Toledo, who beat leftist candidate Alan García in the June 3 runoff presidential elections, brought democracy back to Peru, a country that suffered 10 years of authoritarian rule under former president Alberto K. Fujimori.

President Alberto K. Fujimori continued his efforts to suppress critical reporting in a year that ended with the long-anticipated announcement that he would seek a third five-year term, a move widely considered unconstitutional. The Fujimori government's systematic campaign to discredit Peru's independent press earned him a place on CPJ's list of the top 10 enemies of the press.

CPJ has characterized the Fujimori government as an "infotatorship," in which power is maintained through the control of information. Government intelligence agencies have used assassination plots, death threats, wiretapping, surveillance, and smear tactics to harass and threaten journalists, often forcing them into exile.
December 16, 1999

His Excellency Alberto K. Fujimori
President of the Republic of Peru
Lima, Peru


Your Excellency:

The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to protest your government's ongoing legal campaign against the Peruvian journalists group Asociación Prensa Libre, and in particular against Prensa Libre member Guillermo Gonzales Arica. We believe this campaign is designed to quell investigative journalism in Peru.

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