Two journalists threatened with death

MAY 10, 2006
Posted: May 12, 2006

Luís Bahamonde, Correo
Eliana Villavicencio, Correo


Bahamonde and Villavicencio, editor and reporter respectively for the Lima-based daily Correo in the northwestern city of Trujillo, were threatened with death by an anonymous caller after reporting on the arrest of members of a local drug cartel.

Bahamonde received the first call at 10:30 am while he was in the office, the editor told CPJ. An unidentified caller asked him if he the publication had evidence to support what it was publishing on a local drug cartel. The caller threatened Bahamonde with death, and said he knew where he lived.

The second call to Villavicencio came at 5:40 pm, the reporter told CPJ. An anonymous caller asked to speak with the reporter responsible for the articles on the local drug cartel. When Villavicencio picked up the telephone, the caller told her that she was going to die.

Police said that the first call was placed from a restricted number while the second came from a public phone, according to local press reports.

Bahamonde and Villavicencio believe that the threats are directly tied to a series of reports published since May 7, and based on the arrest of various members of a local drug cartel. Correo published the alleged drug traffickers’ names and photographs. Bahamonde believes that the threats are meant to stop Correo from further investigating the story.

The journalists have reported the incidents to the local police, which opened an investigation and offered protection.