October 4, 2022


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How did the media work to harm Castillo and benefit Fujimori in the Peruvian presidential election?

On April 11, Peruvian election officials confirmed that it was unthinkable when left-wing teacher and trade unionist Point Pedro Castillo surprised locals and strangers. Despite having no experience in the major fields of politics, being ignored by the mainstream media and a communication campaign almost limited to social networks, the Peruvian Libre candidate won first place in the general election and agreed to vote for the presidency.

From that moment on, local and foreign newspapers, radios, television channels and internet websites undertook the task of describing the image of the unknown rural author and explaining the reasons why he was stopped at the city gates. Pizarro House. The fainting of citizenship towards a leadership tainted by corruption —142 Presidential and Congress candidates under investigation – He played in favor of Castillo, who received a good portion of his votes in the interior of the country.

His match was confirmed a few days later. Right-wing Keiko Fujimori, on one edge Judgment He will run again in the second round on money laundering charges and receiving illegal contributions to his campaigns in 2011 and 2016, trying to follow in the footsteps of imprisoned former president and icon of Peru’s neo-liberal Alberto Fujimori.

The newspaper is not talking about you

Castillo’s name in Point Pedro later began to make the covers of newspapers and websites, becoming the protagonist of political factions on radio and broadcast channels. Among the so-called ‘big media’, there was a proliferation of analyzes with little commitment to verifiable data, and connected with a clear purpose: to pierce the image of the first candidate of the Left in the last 20 years and, at the same time, make Fujimori the most viable option for a country recovering from an unprecedented health, economic and institutional crisis.

The recipe consisted of whipping up a monster “Communist Dictatorship”, Connect Castillo with «Shining Path Terrorists, Increasing own communication errors and predicting acquisition of companies and media.

Followers of Point Pedro Castillo march through the streets of Lima on June 26, 2021. / Photo: Sebastian Castaneda / Reuters

Appropriately, the markets reacted negatively to the possibility of a government assuming that it would not leave everything to the whims of finance capital. As a result, the Peruvian Soul reached a historic low against the dollar (2%) and the stock market fell to 7.7%.

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In a few weeks, the nearly 5 percent points that excluded Castillo de Fujimori in the first round were reduced to a technical prediction before the final election, which ultimately reflected the closest victory in official numbers to the allegations of “fraud” made by his rival, the “fraud” leveled by his rival.

“Lack of guarantees to carry out press work”

Weeks ago, the US-Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)’s Office of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression. Announced It analyzes reports that allegedly came from journalists “Stress and Harassment” In the media where they worked.

In particular, the reporters, producers and directors of the Canal My and America Noticias channel were forced to suspend their employment relationship – secret layoffs – because they did not accept the media’s significant editorial line because they openly supported Keiko Fujimori’s candidacy, but did not publicly acknowledge it.

Gabriel Garcia Hildebrand, Carola Miranda, Carlos Fonseca, Rene Costelumendi, Carina Borero, Daniel Yowero, Anuska Buevaluk, Carlos Hidalgo, David Gomez Fernandes, Carlos Mario Riola and the press were among the victims.

Meanwhile, international media journalists Jacqueline Fox and Paola Ugats, correspondents of El Boss and ABC de Espana, respectively, fell victim to a campaign of harassment and harassment promoted from social networks. Condemned Rejected by the Foreign Press Association of Peru (APEP) and the National Association of Journalists (ANP).

Internally, the discrimination of news channels was so disgraceful that even the honorary tribunal rejected the National Electoral Arbitration Council (JNE) election protocol agreement. “Lack of objectivity and honesty” “Some” Peruvian media “covering the activities of political parties.

The public also noticed it. A Survey According to the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP), 59% of citizens believe the media is in favor of Fujimori, and only 7% of Castillo.

A ‘déjà vu’

From his home in Lima, Gabriel Hildebrand, the former presenter of the American Channel, who was also the director of the Sunday show Quarto Poder, explains it to the first person for the Arctic.

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I have now seen it as a ‘dijo wu’ (in French, ‘seen before’) for what happened in 2011, where there were pressure and desperate measures to benefit one candidate and go against another, who at the time was Hollanda Humla. In a particular field on the right, there was a fear like what Castillo now wakes up to, ”says Hildebrand at the other end of the line.

But this time, he makes it clear that they did it differently. After the first round of elections, Colombian journalist Clara Elvira Ospina, the director of the American Channel Press, decided to fire, with whom the group acted “in a better way” and reached out to the public with the signal of “the highest standards of credibility.” Before Ospina left, the editorial line was clear: “We are not going to support any candidate.”.

“Our job is to get reports that will help people vote very strongly. But I felt that fear was a system. Castillo is a communist. He refers to the setback in the ’70s. It was all based on fear, but not really.”

Channel Power of the channel is not shot in the middle of the election and before the second round, without explanations. So somehow I already know what’s going on, ”he explains. When I asked the company the reasons, they told me that the relationship between Ospina and the channel had worn off, which was clearly not enough, especially since it was presented and congratulated by the board of directors.

“These fears are not discussed”

From there, Hildebrand and other press directors began to realize in editorial meetings that the issues raised were intended to intimidate the public with comments about what might happen under a possible Castillo government, and instead, as he proposed, expose research and credible information. Both candidates.

“Our job is to get reports that will help people vote very strongly. But I felt that fear was a system. That Castillo is a communist, he represents the regression to the 70s. Everything is based on fear, but not really. I said, ‘If we’re going to talk about fears. , We will be plural. ‘ Many believe there could be corruption with Fujimori, but these fears have not been discussed, ”he assures.

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According to a Peruvian spokesman, with the appointment of the new press director, Gilberto Hume, the editorial was stamped on one of his questions in front of the team: “” I’m going to be a little provocative, but think about taking the pages against what you’re doing. Candidate representing risk to the company?’, he said. It was clear to me there that their values ​​were far from mine.

From that moment on, the journalist says he clearly noticed that references that could affect Fujimori’s image were rejected with various excuses, while his behavior towards Castillo was reversed. Hildebrand assures that the director argued at one of those meetings:It’s like Hitler came and you never saw him.

“There I said, ‘No, it’s not working already.’ There were many of us who told him that We are not ready to do politics instead of the press.

Hildebrand resigned a few days before the vote, noting that he had not been informed of decisions such as who was going to interview Fujimori and who was going to interview Castillo.

The editorial line may be here or there as far as the public knows, something they do not want to reveal. But beyond that, the message line should be plural, including what both applicants say, ”says the media expert and editor.

He concludes: this way you are depriving people of their right to adequate information. There is a social contract between the public and the journalist. You have to tell them how they are. If you take it right away from the people who see you, you are betraying that policy, you are undermining trust and democratic principles. This time the operation was removed.

Channel N and America Signal, and America Radio both belong to the pluralistic television group, with its partner set divided between El Comrio (70%) and La Replica (30%), the two most widely read newspapers in the country.

(Taken from RT in Spanish)