EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 46/07/93
UA 82/93 Death threats 24 March 1993
PERU: Cecilia VALENZUELA (female), journalist
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Cecilia Valenzuela, a
journalist on the weekly magazine Caretas, who has reportedly received death
According to reports, on 27 February 1993 an envelope was found in an elevator
in the building which houses the offices of Caretas, with "Cecilia Valenzuela,
Caretas", written on the envelope. Inside was a chicken's head with a cord
around its neck, and a blood-spattered clipping of a photo of the journalist.
Apparently there was no indication as to whom had sent the envelope.
The threat followed the publication in Caretas of an article written by Cecilia
Valenzuela. The article apparently focused on the trial of the army officers
accused of an attempt in November 1992 to overthrow President Alberto Fujimori's
This is not the first time Cecilia Valenzuela has been threatened. According
to reports, she and the editor of Caretas were anonymously threatened with
death over the telephone in November 1992, following publication of the
transcripts of taped telephone conversations between President Fujimori, the
head of the Armed forces Joint Command and a close advisor to the President.
On 5 April 1992 President Alberto Fujimori announced the closure of Congress
and the suspension of constitutional rule. In the wake of the announcement
scores of politicians, trade unionists, journalists and others were detained
in their homes, work places or in centres of detention. The offices of some
of Peru's newspapers and magazines were surrounded by troops and were unable
to function freely. All the detainees, except one, were released within days
In the months that followed President Fujimori's announcement, Caretas
consistently published articles which were highly critical of the President
and his government. The magazine has also been very critical of the way in
which sectors of the army and the Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional, National
intelligence Service, acted in detaining and investigating those officers who
had allegedly participated in the attempt to overthrow the President.
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