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Police are seen in Lima, Peru, on October 1, 2019. Two journalists recently requested police protection after receiving threats and being surveilled. (Reuters/Guadalupe Pardo)

Peruvian journalists threatened, surveilled over coverage of politician

February 12, 2020 9:00 AM ET

Two Peruvian journalists have sought police protection after one received a death threat and the other said her home was being spied upon, according to news reports.

On January 30, 2020, Hugo Gonzáles Henestroza, a reporter for the independent news web site Noticiero Libre in the northern city of Huaraz, received a death threat via Facebook, he told CPJ in a phone interview.

A Facebook user named Jorge Antonio Reyes wrote in a comment on one of Gonzales’ articles that he “will be executed” for his reporting on alleged links between a Peruvian congressperson and organized crime groups, according to the Institute for Press and Society (IPYS), a Lima-based press freedom group.

CPJ reviewed a screenshot of the comment, but was unable to locate contact information for Reyes.

In a February 3 letter to the Interior Ministry, which was published by IPYS, Gonzáles described the threat and requested police protection.

Yldefonso Espinoza, another Noticiero Libre journalist who covered the congressperson, also requested police protection after she spotted a vehicle with an obscured license plate repeatedly parked outside her home in Huaraz, according to a letter also published by IPYS.

Eunice Dextre, an Interior Ministry representative in Huaraz, told CPJ by telephone on February 11 that neither journalist had received protection because their cases were still being evaluated, a process that she said could take several weeks.

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