Provincial radio journalist kidnapped by peasants

New York, December 29, 2004—A stick-wielding group of peasants kidnapped Peruvian radio journalist Duber Mauriola Labán on Monday, accusing him of promoting the interests of a local mining company. Police were trying to rescue the journalist, who was still being held today by kidnappers in a remote village.

According to local press reports, 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. The peasant group says Mauriola’s coverage for the local radio station Centinela has favored the Majaz SA copper mining company, which they allege is polluting the environment.

Mauriola was beaten and taken to a remote village 10 hours away on foot, the Peruvian press reported. Police began efforts to win the journalist’s release, but bad weather impeded the operation.

Friends of Mauriola detained Josefa Adrianzén, who allegedly participated in the abduction, and turned him over to local police, the national daily El Comercio reported. Police also detained Federico Ibañez, a journalist for the Huancabamba radio station Difusora, for allegedly urging the kidnappers to continue holding Mauriola, El Comercio reported.