Jose Alejandro Godoy

Jose Alejandro Godoy

Location: Lima, Peru
12° 2' 35.9988" S, 77° 1' 41.9988" W
Status: Threatened
Threatened on 29 Oct 2010

On Friday, October 29th, the court's sentence was handed down for the offensive libel suit brought by the former government minister and parliament member Jorge Mufarech Nemy against the law school graduate and blogger Jose Alejandro Godoy. The judge's ruling calls for a suspended sentence of three years imprisonment, commuted to a three-year probation as long as Godoy fulfills additional obligations: a payment of 350 thousand soles (approx. $125,000) and 120 days of community service.

The case began April, 14, 2009, when Godoy published a post about the alleged threats made by Mufarech toward a parliamentary advisor. As a result, and as chronicled by the same blogger in another post from July 2009, Mufarech sent him a notarized letter requiring the removal of certain information because it was believed to be false.  The claim was made on the basis of article 2, point 6 of the constitution of the Republic of Perú. If Godoy did not take down the information, Mufarech would take appropriate legal action. Godoy, instead of taking down the information, published comments by Mufarech on three cases where he had been charged with corruption. Godoy refused to take down the post (although what had been asked was only the removal of some information in the post) because he considered it at odds with freedom of expression. He also replied to Mufarech with a notarized letter of his own. When faced with this in August 2009, Mufarech sued Godoy for a million dollars.

This is a key paragraph from the original post that sparked this legal firestorm:

One of the greatest political stars of the first part of this decade is  Jorge Mufarech Nemy. The former Minister of Labor under Fujimori  (a former President both celebrated and vilified in Perú) and former parliament member of the party Perú Posible, had three shining achievements during his watch: tax evasion on a Jaguar car purchase, pushing for import/export measures that favored his own companies, negotiating one of the best labor agreements in the 90's for América Telvisión with José Francisco Crousillat (who among others in the 90's took large bribes to favorably report on the Fujimori regime) and, of course, his persecution against Fernando Rospigliosi and his allegations against Mufarech.

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