Peru - Media
Peru's major telecommunications systems were developed privately by Swedish, US, and Swiss enterprises. In 1970, however, the government nationalized the Lima Telephone Co. and announced plans to take over the entire telecommunications system through its wholly owned company Entelperú. A joint Peruvian-Chilean firm operates a system in southern Peru and Arica, Chile. In 1998, there were 1.5 million mainline telephones in use, with an additional 504,995 cellular phones. The government's Bureau of Mails and Telecommunications operates the domestic telegraph system, using radio to reach communities not served by land lines.
As of 1999, there were 472 AM and 198 FM radio stations and 13 television broadcast stations. In 2000, there were 273 radios and 148 television sets for every 1,000 people.
The leading Lima dailies—among them El Comercio (2002 circulation 150,000), Ojo (100,000), and Expreso (100,000)—are the most important newspapers and are flown daily to provincial towns. Other major papers from Lima include La Cronica (208,000), Gestion (131,200), and El Observador (180,000). The official government paper is El Peruano (27,000), a daily gazette in which laws, decrees, and brief government announcements are published. Special-interest periodicals are published by learned societies, agricultural groups, and business associations.
During the period of military rule between 1968 and 1980, the press in Peru was under strict government control. The law provided severe penalties for criticizing government officials and required newspapers to publish reports from the president and cabinet ministers. In 1974, the government shut down Caretas, the last remaining independent political magazine, and all remaining private national newspapers with circulations of more than 20,000 were expropriated. When civilian rule returned in 1980, the press was returned to private control. However, freedom of the press has once again been restricted since the political crackdown by President Fujimori in April 1992, and journalists have been arrested by the government. As of 1999, journalists were subject to harassment and intimidation, and practiced self-censorship. The government is said also to exert control over the media through the purchasing of advertising to promote government views and pro-government opinion.