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Bogotá, April 2, 2024 – Peruvian authorities must drop their investigation of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and respect the right of reporters to maintain confidential sources, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

On March 27, Alcides Chinchay, a public prosecutor in the capital city of Lima, opened a preliminary investigation into Gorriti, the editor-in-chief of Lima-based investigative news website IDL-Reporteros, for alleged bribery, according to news reports and a statement from the Peruvian Attorney General’s office.

Chinchay is examining whether Gorriti, in his stories for IDL-Reporteros, promoted the work of two public prosecutors in exchange for journalistic scoops about their investigations into political corruption, according to the judicial notification from the Attorney General’s office that was sent to Gorriti. 

The 15-page notice, which CPJ has reviewed, also states that Gorriti does not have the right to maintain the anonymity of his sources, and within five days the journalist must reveal to the Attorney General’s office the telephone numbers he used between 2016 and 2021.

Adriana León, spokesperson for the Lima-based Institute for Press and Society, told CPJ that Peru’s constitution protects the rights of journalists to maintain the secrecy of confidential sources. 

“Peruvian authorities should stop forcing Gustavo Gorriti to reveal his sources, drop this investigation, and respect the reporter’s right for secret communications,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director, in New York. “Journalists should be able to report on issues of public interest free of judicial harassment and retaliation for their work.”

Gorriti is Peru’s most prominent investigative reporter and the founder of IDL-Reporteros, the journalism arm of the Legal Defense Institute, an independent organization dedicated to fighting corruption and improving justice in Peru. Since 2015 IDL-Reporteros has published exposés about corruption within Peru’s judicial system and about Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction firm that admitted to paying $800 million in kickbacks to politicians across Latin America in exchange for public works contracts.

Partly as a result of IDL-Reporteros’ scoops, dozens of Peruvian public officials, lawyers, judges and business people are under investigation for criminal acts. But there’s also been a fierce backlash against IDL-Reporteros and Gorriti, who has been targeted by right-wing protesters and government officials. 

In July 2018, CPJ reported that police and officials from the public prosecutor’s office went to IDL-Reporteros’ office to demand they hand over materials used in stories about government corruption. The officials left after they were unable to show a warrant justifying the search.

Gorriti told CPJ that his interactions with the public prosecutors constituted a normal relationship between a journalist and his sources and called the preliminary investigation “absurd.” He said that IDL-Reporteros would defend the right of journalists to maintain anonymous sources and to publish exposés of public officials “no matter what the cost.” 

There was no response to CPJ’s calls to the Attorney General’s office. However, in its statement, the institution insisted that it did have the right to access Gorriti’s sources. 

Source of original article: Americas Archives – Committee to Protect Journalists (
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