Punto de Encuentro

Gorriti’s Ethics: For a sample, a truck is enough

By: Enrique Valderrama

Beyond whether an intervention or raid is irregular, there are procedures to protest against arbitrariness and ensure that norms are respected. The republic signifies, among other things, the equality before the law of all citizens. There is a normative framework to oppose the abuses. Skipping these and directly calling an authority – such as a Supreme Prosecutor – whom one is friends with is, at the very least, contrary to ethics, even more so for a journalist. It is already questionable that someone engaged in investigative journalism is closely associated with a high-ranking official in the justice system. And we have to add to that a direct call in the middle of a prosecutor's raid, which was disauthorized by that friend: Pablo Sánchez.

Regarding the eventful life of Gustavo Gorriti Ellenbogen, it may not be the only factor challenging the ethical integrity of the head of IDL Reporters. Some years ago, something happened that might better illustrate how the influential journalist operates in the Public Prosecution today – according to testimonies attributing to Villanueva to be making threats to the current General Prosecutor Villena.

This story dates back to Pilar Mazzetti's tenure at the Ministry of the Interior, during the Toledo administration in 2006. She arranged a purchase from ISDS Ltd. for troop carriers. This decision was questioned for overvaluation. Alva Castro, the Interior Minister at the time, already under the APRA government, refused to buy and pay for these vehicles.

IDL R – Gorriti's outlet – published a note on why the troop carriers offered by ISDS should be purchased.

The Ministry of the Interior held another bidding process in 2009. Another Israeli company, HATEHOF, emerged as the winner.

In the following February, IDL-Reporteros published a note stating, among other things, that: "IDL-Reporteros is in a position to affirm that the 31 troop carriers that Hatehof is selling to the ministry are part of the 50 that ISDS was going to sell in 2007, but Alva Castro refused to accept and, of course, to pay for." Arguments aimed at undermining the acquisition from ISDS competitors. (Link: https://www.idl-reporteros.pe/estafa-camionera/)

On that note, they include a disclaimer stating that Gorriti did not participate in the article, although those who regularly read it find it reminiscent of his writing style. They claim, however, that Romina Mella wrote the note because Gorriti is a friend of the owner "due to judo practice."

Following that, this note is released without any disclaimer: https://www.idl-reporteros.pe/preguntas-y-respuestas-en-el-caso-de-la-estafa-camionera/ 

The purchase of troop carriers was canceled in May. It went back to square one for another bidding process. Gorriti's campaign had been successful. Interestingly, Gorriti's daughter started working at ISDS Ltd. in August 2010. Could the judo friendship of her father with the owner or perhaps the truck demolition campaign he conducted against the competitors of the ISDS owner have had something to do with it?

The mode of operation in any case is far from ethical and seems to lean more towards managing interests, taking advantage of a media scheme that claims neutrality and honorability.

For a sample, a button, or a truck, is enough.