At 8 p.m., at least 12
men armed with pistols and automatic weapons entered the property of the
Chumpitaz family in the district of La Unión in the northern department of
Piura. The assailants asked Isabel Chumpitaz Panta if she was the journalist,
and when she answered affirmatively, they shot her point blank.
Her husband, José Amaya Jacinto, was shot when he tried to intervene. Her
mother, Rosa Panta de Chumpitaz, was beaten after she gave the assailants her
jewelry in an attempt to stop them. Chumpitaz’s brother Walter was stabbed in
the chest and severely wounded. Another brother, Carlos, was shot in both legs.
Local authorities, however, described the attack as a robbery, noting that the
men fled with television sets, jewelry, money, and the family’s pickup truck,
which was abandoned in El Indio, in the district of Castilla.
Chumpitaz was well known for her work with media in Piura. She produced
“La Voz del Pueblo” (The People’s Voice), a show broadcast daily on
Radio Satélite, which advocated peasants’ rights. She was also known as an
opponent of President Alberto Fujimori’s re-election bid.
Her husband was a regular contributor to “La Voz del Pueblo.” Walter
Chumpitaz Panta produces another daily program on Radio Satélite called
“Sombrero de Paja” (Straw Hat), which also advocates peasant rights.
Relatives of the slain journalists informed CPJ that a police officer visited
them on April 8, the day the victims were buried, and urged them not to pursue
the investigation. On April 20, outraged colleagues marched in the streets of
Piura to protest the assassination.