Radio station attacked with explosives in Peru

Bogotá, July 9, 2013–Peruvian authorities should immediately investigate a bomb attack on the offices of Radio Tropicana in the town of Satipo on July 4, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. No one was hurt, but the station’s offices were badly damaged, the station’s manager told CPJ.

“The shocking attack on Radio Tropicana demands a thorough and aggressive investigation on the part of Peruvian authorities,” said CPJ Senior Program Coordinator for the Americas Carlos Lauría from New York. “The lack of justice in attacks against provincial media in Peru has perpetuated a dangerous cycle of impunity.”

Radio Tropicana manager Luis Ángel Ñaupari told CPJ that he was sleeping in one of the rooms of the station when he heard noises and then an explosion at about 3 a.m. The blast destroyed about 80 percent of the station, including the front door, computers, and studios. Ñaupari said the staff was able to salvage the main console, and Radio Tropicana remains on the air.

News reports citing witnesses said that shortly before the explosion, a motorcycle sped away from the front door of the station’s offices.

Ñaupari told CPJ that he directs a three-hour daily news program, “Noticias Tropicana,” for the station that often reports on allegations of corruption against local and regional officials and that the attack could be in connection to those reports. He did not specify any particular stories that might have provoked the bombing. He said the station’s three journalists had not received any prior threats but that the Lima-based Peru21 newspaper had reported that the radio journalists had faced pressure to “change their programming.”

The private Radio Tropicana has been operating for about two years in Satipo, a town of about 80,000 people in central Junín province, and is one of about 16 radio stations broadcasting in the region, Ñaupari said.

Police said they were investigating the attack and had ruled out terrorism or revenge as motives, according to news reports. Remnants of the guerrilla group Shining Path are still present in the region, the reports said.

Local journalists reporting on government corruption have been repeatedly targeted in Peru, CPJ research shows. Two journalists have been attacked by unidentified assailants in non-fatal attacks in 2013.

  • For more data and analysis, visit CPJ’s Peru page.