Former mayor acquitted again of ordering journalist’s murder

first_imgNews News to go further RSF_en News Luis Valdez Villacorta, the former mayor of Pucallpa (the capital of the east-central region of Ucayali), has been acquitted for the second time of masterminding the murder of radio Frecuencia Oriental journalist Alberto Rivera Fernández in Pucallpa on 21 April 2004. Valdez was acquitted on 8 February by a Lima criminal court at the end of a controversial trial marked by irregularities. The court said it “did not find sufficient evidence” to link him to Rivera’s murder. The court also acquitted Solio Ramírez Garay, a former Pucallpa official, on the same charge.Rivera’s family has accused the court of ignoring evidence presented during the trial. Carlos Rivera, the family’s lawyer, said no account was taken of the fact that the victim was murdered in connection with his work as a journalist. He added that the family would appeal against the acquittal.Alberto Rivera was gunned down shortly after accusing Valdez on the air of being involved in drug trafficking. The alleged hit men were arrested and convicted of carrying out the killing. Their statements pointed to Mayor Valdez as the person who ordered the murder. However, the court ruled that their statements were “contradictory” while at the same time it accepted as “reasonable” the claim that several news media had waged a campaign to discredit the mayor and “make him appear to be a drug trafficker.” Valdez was previously cleared in November 2007 of ordering the killing, but his acquittal was quashed by Peru’s supreme court, which ordered a retrial. Reporters Without Borders regards the latest acquittal as a grave development that could leave Rivera’s murder unpunished. It therefore supports the family’s call for it to be overturned.Valdez meanwhile continues to be held in Lima’s Castro Castro prison in connection with a charge of money-laundering. However, he could be released soon as other people facing the same charge have also been freed. The need for justice is urgent. Organisation Latin America’s community radio – a key service but vulnerable Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information PeruAmericas February 11, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Former mayor acquitted again of ordering journalist’s murder Latin American media: under control of families, economic and political elites PeruAmericas December 4, 2019 Find out more News April 1, 2020 Find out more China’s diplomats must stop attacking media over coronavirus reporting Follow the news on Peru Photo : Crónica Viva February 10, 2017 Find out morelast_img read more

Howard: No Europa hangover for us

first_img Martinez could hand Eto’o his full home debut against Palace after the Cameroon veteran once again made an impact off the bench against Wolfsburg, setting up Kevin Mirallas’ late strike. The Everton boss has one concern with full-back Seamus Coleman facing a late fitness test after sustaining a knock on the head in the midweek clash. Palace boss Neil Warnock has backed Phil Jagielka to answer his critics in the only way he knows how – with full-blooded performances for both Everton and England. The 32-year-old defender played in the opening two games of England’s ill-fated World Cup campaign alongside Chelsea’s Gary Cahill but has since lost his place to Phil Jones. Jagielka has also come under fire for some below-par displays at the heart of the Toffees defence as Martinez’s side have shipped 10 goals in the early weeks of the Premier League season. But Warnock has backed the man he brought into professional football at Sheffield United 14 years ago to show he can still cut it in the top flight. ”I think he’s just got to be proud of what he’s achieved really,” Warnock said of his former Blades skipper. ”I had him as a lad and they were telling me he was a right-back or a central midfield player and together we found a position for him. To see him playing at the World Cup was a fantastic achievement for him and he’s a smashing lad with a lovely family. ”The answer to the critics is what he did in the Europa League against Wolfsburg. I thought he was superb and that’s the way to answer people, by turning out and playing. ”I’m sure the Everton fans might be even happier if he doesn’t get picked for England because he does a wonderful job for Everton and has done for many years. I remember talking to David (Moyes) and Arsene Wenger and said, ‘If we (Sheffield United) do get relegated then he’s the one you want to sign’. ”He’s just a level-headed lad. He’ll not even bother about any criticism or anything, he just turns up for training each day. ”Managers have first names on the team sheet every week and he’s one of those and Roberto is lucky to have him. He’s a fabulous player and he’d get in every team in the Premier League, I think.” Warnock will give forward Marouane Chamakh every chance to prove his fitness. The Morocco international has been struggling with a hamstring injury and will not be risked if there is a chance the problem could flare up once more at Goodison Park. Deadline day acquisition Zeki Fryers is still waiting for his Palace debut whilst Kevin Doyle is in contention for his first start and Andrew Johnson could yet feature against one of his former clubs. Roberto Martinez’s men built on last week’s win at West Bromwich Albion with an emphatic 4-1 win over German side Wolfsburg to belatedly get their season up and running. And given the nature of their recent performance the Everton goalkeeper believes tired limbs will be the last thing on his team-mates’ mind as they itch to keep their good run going against Neil Warnock’s side. Howard said: “It’s a positive – if you win you can stay on a good winning streak, and if you lose there’s another game right there for you to prove yourself. “I always think the more you play the less you have to train. Playing games keeps you ticking over and I feel when there’re points to be had, it’s easy to bounce back. “These two results help. Against Leicester, Arsenal and Chelsea we played well but we were just a little bit frail in certain areas. “We also knew if we could beat West Brom then double up and beat Palace we’d be right back in the thick of things so hopefully that will be the case.” Martinez is a big fan of Howard and admitted his disappointment that the American keeper was denied a deserved clean sheet on Thursday due to the visitors’ last minute consolation strike. And while the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto’o will continue hitting the headlines up front, Martinez cannot stress enough how Howard’s presence breeds confidence in the other players. “Tim got a lot of credit in the World Cup for his performance against Belgium, but for Evertonians it was just declaring the obvious,” said Martinez. “They have always seen Tim at that level and I have seen it for 13 months now. He is always focused and has a real concentration, and he is enjoying a very good moment of form.” Tim Howard is convinced his Everton team-mates will not experience a Europa League hangover when they made a quick return to action against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Sunday. Press Associationlast_img read more

Consistency equates success

first_imgThe proverbial flops — every sport has them. Every critic is quick to abhor them, but I’m here to praise them. At least my purpose is to provide to them enough emotional uplift before they blow it all again with an interception on the game-tying drive; strikeout with ducks on the pond in the home-half of the ninth, trailing by two; or drop bricks in the closing seconds of Game 7, and the critics say, “I told you so.” The point is: The definition of greatness doesn’t stem from the right ring finger; instead, its roots lie in the mark and legacy that the back of his jersey leaves on the gridiron, the diamond and the court. Aristotle once said, “Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit.” Winning one game and taking home a ring doesn’t define an athlete or make him. It’s what he habitually does that deserves recognition. I’m here to recognize some of habitually great names in sports who have never savored the delectable, sugary goodness that is a championship. Peyton Manning, Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Garnett; Dan Marino, Ty Cobb and Karl Malone; Barry Sanders, Barry Bonds and Charles Barkley — all of these legends possess(ed) an unheralded talent, but wear no ring.And while I don’t expect Manning, Rodriguez or Garnett to receive his crowning jewel, it is vital that I silence the critics who claim no ring equals no respect.Despite winning last Sunday against the pesky Baltimore Ravens, Peyton Manning has a steep uphill battle left to overcome against Colts-killer Tom Brady to prevent another season from ending in disappointment.Although the postseason for Manning is a horse that cannot be tamed, the regular season is a different story. Since entering the NFL in 1998 as the No. 1 pick, Peyton has, to put it lightly, had his way. In nine seasons, Manning has compiled 275 touchdowns and 37,586 yards. His career QB rating is an astonishing 94.4 and that includes his first season (71.2). In 2004, he shattered the single-season record for QB efficiency with a 121.1 mark. And he threw a record 49 touchdown passes to boot. Not only does Manning put up big numbers, he also knows how to win. During his nine-year career, the former Volunteer has led the Colts to a combined 92-52 record (.639). Since Tony Dungy took over as Indianapolis’ head coach in 2002, Manning holds an even more impressive 60-20 (.750) mark. Yet critics say Manning isn’t a true winner. Regardless of all the records he has broken or will break, they say Manning doesn’t posses the crowning achievement that the likes of Trent Dilfer, Jay Schroeder and Brad Johnson lay claim to: Manning has never, ever captured a Super Bowl. In fact, in nine seasons and seven playoff appearances, Manning hasn’t even smelled the prize turkey. Not since 1970 have the Colts, then in Baltimore, been to the Super Bowl, and it’s a wonder — as long as Manning’s at the helm — if they ever will. It’s not that Manning doesn’t know how to play, as indicated by his regular-season records, and certainly the defense cannot be solely blamed for abysmal performances. No, the blame lies with the entire team and other intangibles. But intangibles aren’t culpable. Quarterbacks like Peyton Manning are. He shoulders the blame. Losing is his onus. However, I must admit I find it intriguing that for a guy who is so poised on the field during the regular season, the pressure of the “big game” in the playoffs seems to unnerve him every time. In seven playoff losses, Manning has thrown seven interceptions to three touchdowns. A mere three touchdowns is it. That’s a rate of one every .43 games. At that pace, he would have to play seven-plus seasons to equal the 49 touchdown passes he threw in 2004. It’s easy to find the bad in Manning and call it a trend. I like to look at what he has done in five playoff wins: Manning has tallied 1,577 passing yards (315.4 per game) and 13 touchdowns to six picks, all while completing nearly three out of four passes. Despite the greatness of Manning’s regular-season numbers and his noteworthy marks in postseason wins, Manning’s losing playoff record and the struggles he has endured in Colts losses will be the Manning who is remembered, a fact I find humorous. Manning, along with Dan Marino, is arguably the most explosive quarterback in NFL history. And I don’t see a ring on Marino’s finger. Clearly the view of Manning is flawed, and what makes a great quarterback isn’t his jewelry — a fact that applies to all professional sports.Alex Rodriguez, the youngest player to reach 400 career home runs — lethal talent and poster boy — is another example of a man with the tools, but no hardware.At age 30, the two-time MVP has launched 464 home runs, tallied 1,347 RBI, scored 1,358 runs and owns a .305 batting average. Despite being one of the most prolific players in history to step onto the diamond, the perception is that A-Rod has been A-rotten. Yankees fans have ridden the perennial All-Star to the ground for not patterning the likeness of affable “Mr. November,” Derek Jeter. I’m not here to argue that A-Rod is clutch or Jeter isn’t, but if you look at their numbers, straight-up, A-Rod is the better ball-player, hands down. And if your argument is defense, Rodriguez’s career fielding percentage is .974, while Jeter’s is .975. Sure, the Yankees won’t win another World Series as long as Steinbrenner continues to purge the league of baseball’s brightest stars (A-Rod included). That much is true. Yet I find it hard to believe that Rodriguez is solely to blame for their recent post-season struggles. During the Yankees’ memorable collapse in the 2004 ALCS versus the Red Sox, A-Rod all but disappeared, going 2-for-17 — with a two-run home run — in the final four games, all losses. Baseball’s brightest — Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui — weren’t dazzling, either. Jeter batted 4-for-19 with 5 RBI, Sheffield went 1-for-17 and Matsui hit 5-for-19. Yeah, A-Rod’s postseason struggles have extended beyond those four games, having gone 12-straight games without a postseason RBI while batting .098 during that stretch, but outside of Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds — who is criticized for flopping in the postseason as well — no one has demonstrated the superb consistency quite like A-Rod. If you’re looking for reliability on the hardwood, Kevin Garnett is difficult to top. Yearly, he ranks among the NBA’s best for player efficiency, and Garnett is the only player in history to average 20-plus points per game, 10-plus rebounds and five-plus assists six times.For all of the team records “The Big Ticket” holds and league records he will challenge, KG will never receive the same recognition as Tim Duncan, Larry Bird or even Karl Malone. The reason: Garnett hasn’t won a championship, he isn’t “Show Time,” and he doesn’t deliver the big shot. Plus, between 1996 and 2003, Garnett’s Timberwolves fell victim to an NBA-record seven-straight first-round playoff exits. That’s what he’ll be remembered for, not his four-straight years of leading the NBA in wins produced. There are countless athletes whose names will forever hang from the rafters where they once played, or have statues erected in their likenesses despite not ever winning a championship. But these are the three names that come to mind among current players, the three players who have been criticized for crumbling under the pressure. Although Manning, Rodriguez and Garnett haven’t earned a ring, much less played for one, their excellence is noteworthy. I know it. The players know it. Why can’t the critics know it? Hardware is great, but it is ultimately no more than the icing on a cake. Kevin is a junior majoring in economics and journalism. If you would like to argue that this trio of players isn’t worth the price of admission, or another grouping of players should be recognized as the ring-less leaders of this generation, he can be reached at kha[email protected]last_img read more