Critical journalist gunned down in Peru

New York, September 16, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Peruvian authorities to fully investigate the murder of journalist José Oquendo Reyes, who was shot to death on Wednesday, and bring those responsible to justice.

Oquendo Reyes was shot five times at close range by unidentified men on a motorcycle outside his home in the municipality of Pueblo Nuevo, in the southern region of Chincha, local news reports said. He was the host of the news program “Sin Fronteras,” which was transmitted on Radio Alas Peruanas and television station BTV Canal 45.

“We condemn the killing of José Oquendo Reyes, the second Peruvian journalist to be murdered this month,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “Authorities must determine whether the killing was related to Oquendo Reyes’ work.”

Oquendo Reyes was known for his investigative pieces, Luz Córdova Pecho, president of the local press group Asociación Nacional de Periodistas in Chincha, told CPJ. The journalist’s wife, Marina Juárez, told CPJ that he had not received any threats recently.

Córdova Pecho also said that a local police chief said that two suspects had been detained but did not release any more information.

Television journalist Pedro Alfonso Flores Silva died on September 8 from gunshot wounds sustained in an attack by an unidentified assailant. In May, radio host Julio Castillo Narváez was gunned down while having lunch in the city of Virú. CPJ is investigating both cases to determine whether the motives were work-related.CPJ research shows that at least six journalists have been killed in direct reprisal for their work since 1992.