A judge condemned Peru's Pedro Salinas, a journalist who was suspended in prison (one day without being imprisoned), who together with his colleague Paola Ugaz revealed the physical, psychological and sexual abuse committed within the apostolic society Sodalicio de Vida Christian (SVC).
Magistrate Judith Cueva, of the First Criminal Court of Piura, in the north of the country, ruled in favor of the bishop of Piura and Tumbes, José Antonio Eguren, who sued Salinas for aggravated defamation when compared to Juan Barros, the Chilean bishop accused to cover up the emblematic Karadima case, with child sexual violations.
Salinas accused Eguren in January 2018 of covering up the proven abuses that were committed repeatedly and almost mechanically for decades within Sodalicio, a Christian society founded by the Peruvian Luis Fernando Figari.
The sentencing to Salinas also involves the payment of 80,000 soles (about $ 24,300) within a period of fifteen days as compensation in favor of the bishop, which if not executed within the established time may cause the journalist to enter prison.
The lawyer of the Institute of Legal Defense (IDL) Carlos Rivera, who was in charge of the defense of Salinas, assured the station RPP News that the sentence is unfair because the journalist had all the elements and evidence in his investigation to say that Eguren He had concealed the Sodalicio abusers.
Therefore, he announced that he will appeal the sentence to seek the acquittal of his defendant in the second instance by a superior court.
Likewise, Rivera expressed surprise that the judge issued his sentence just after the end of the hearing of the final arguments, without taking the usual period of several days to analyze the arguments of the parties and dictate the ruling.
"The message of the justice system is that journalists who are investigating and complying with the basic information protocols are being sanctioned, the serious thing is that, a recognized journalist who has not committed any criminal act is being punished," he said.
The lawyer expressed his concern about the fate of Paola Ugaz, who has also been sued by Eguren for defamation aggravated by a series of messages on Twitter accusing him of land trafficking, conclusion of an investigation he carried out in a television documentary.
"We know that here in the Court of Piura we will have the same fate, they are using the justice system to repress", warned Rivera about this process that is being handled by the Fifth Criminal Single Court of Piura.
Eguren had requested in his complaints filed in June and October 2018 three years in prison for journalists and 200,000 soles (about $ 60,000) in compensation.
Salinas and Ugaz are authors of the book "Half monks, half soldier", where they collect the testimonies of different victims of physical, psychological and even sexual abuse committed in the Sodalicio, some of them when they were still minors.