Kidnapped radio journalist freed after three days

New York, December 30, 2004—Peruvian radio journalist Duber Maruiola Labán was released this morning, three days after being kidnapped by a group of peasants who accused him of promoting the interests of a local mining company, local police told the Committee to Protect Journalists.

More than 50 members of a peasant group kidnapped Mauriola at a friend’s house in the town of Huancabamba, Piura Department, in northwestern Peru, on Monday. The group said Mauriola’s coverage for the local radio station Centinela favored the Majaz SA copper mining company, which it alleges is polluting the environment.

Mauriola was beaten and taken to a remote village 10 hours away on foot. Bad weather initially hampered police efforts to win the journalist’s release. At least two people were detained in connection with the kidnapping earlier this week. Police declined to say whether others would be charged, but initial press reports indicated additional arrests were being made.