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Media purchased is turned in political issue in Peru

A pedestrian looks different covers of newspapers in Lima, Peru.
A pedestrian looks different covers of newspapers in Lima, Peru.
Marco del Rio/ ANDINA

An issue which begun as a stocks purchase between two media press leader companies had turned into a national political subject due to different points of view from businessmen and political analysts, who claimed the purchase represents a threat to freedom of press and the democracy in the south american country, and whose statement have found echo in the government.

They alleged that with the transaction signed on August 2013, when the editorial group “El Comercio” – the most powerful media company in Peru-- purchased the 54 % of the stocks of the other company media “Epensa”, “El Comercio” will be in control of the 70 % of the press in Peru, imposing their political line and commercial, in detriment of other sectors of the people.

One of the main opponents against this transaction is the other editorial company media and third part in this history, “La Republica”, which attempted previously to buy the 54 % of stocks of “Epensa” but was unsuccessful. “La Republica” has a different political line of “El Comercio” and “Epensa” ( center right) and tending to the left in political speaking, one of the reasons because “Epensa” would have preferred to negotiate with “El Comercio”.

The debate had grown even more after the Peruvian president Ollanta Humala, spoke through national television against the transaction between “El Comercio” and “Epensa”, followed by his opinion in favor of the National Congress could legislate to prevent those matters of negotiations.

Although, the Inter American Society of Press, expressed its concern about the statement made by the President Ollanta Humala and required to him to stay outside of a disagreement between media groups.

“The president has every right to express an opinion about a matter of great public interest, like the one that is being debated on the front pages of the newspapers, but it seems to us advisable that your government stays out of the dispute for the issue to be resolved through the corresponding lines,” declared the chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo.

The opponents have submitted a claim in a district court of Lima though they want the transaction to be annulled. The plaintiffs are constituted for journalist, analysts and associates to the group “La Republica”.

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