In Peru, radio commentator slain in front of family

New York, March 19, 2007—Two hooded gunmen shot and killed a popular Peruvian radio commentator in front of his wife and children on Saturday night, according to news reports.

Eyewitnesses quoted by the Lima daily La República said the attackers opened fire on Miguel Pérez Julca as the journalist and his family were nearing the front door of their home in Jaén, in northwestern Peru, before speeding away on a motorcycle. Pérez’s wife, Nelly Guevara, was wounded in the attack.

Pérez was host of the radio program, “El Informativo del Pueblo” (“Bulletin of the People”) on the Jaén-based station Radio Éxitos. The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating to determine whether the murder was related to Pérez’s work. Pérez, 38, had covered local crime and allegations of government corruption.

The slaying was the first involving a Peruvian journalist since the 2004 murders of two radio commentators, Alberto Rivera in Pucallpa, and Antonio de la Torre Echeandía in Yungay.

“We’re saddened by the death of Miguel Pérez Julca and offer our condolences to his family and friends,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “We call on authorities to fully investigate this brutal murder of a journalist who covered crime and corruption, and we urge them to swiftly bring to justice those responsible.”