Bogotá, April 6, 2021 – Peruvian authorities must swiftly and thoroughly investigate the death threat received by journalist Carlos Alberto Tafur and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On March 29, an unidentified man sent a voice message to Tafur, host of the daily “Señal Informativa Digital” news and opinion program on the privately owned broadcaster Radio Estereo G 96.5, and threatened him with death, according to news reports and Tafur, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app.
In the recording, which CPJ reviewed, a man’s voice says, “If you continue raising hell on the radio you will see your head hanging from the radio station… You will also see your family hanging from the radio station. Keep it up and you will see.”
Tafur told CPJ that he reported the threat to the police in the town of San Nicolás, where he is based. César Huiman, the San Nicolás police chief, told CPJ via messaging app that his agents are investigating the threat.
“Peruvian authorities should thoroughly investigate the death threat received by journalist Carlos Alberto Tafur and hold those responsible to account,” said CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick, in New York. “Journalists should be able to do their work covering topics of public interest, including local corruption, without fearing for their lives.”
Tafur told CPJ that he often discusses alleged mismanagement of public works projects and corruption by municipal officials in San Nicolás and nearby towns with his guests and listeners who call in to his program.
In recent weeks, guests and callers to his program had complained about the poor state of the roads in Rodríguez de Mendoza province, which includes San Nicolás, and his show covered protests held by local citizens to denounce the lack of road maintenance by a local company that had been contracted to carry out that work, he told CPJ.
He told CPJ that the call came from a Venezuelan phone number. Whoever made the threat “wants me to shut up,” said Tafur, who said he will continue to host the program. “They thought they could intimidate me.”