Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, said: Defamation cases are used to silence authors and publishers. The severity of this judgement and its inclusion of the CEO of a publishing house will cast a dark shadow over freedom of expression and the freedom to publish in Peru. The international publishing community stands in full support of the publisher and author in their appeal.
The defamation case was brought by Peruvian businessman and politician César Acuña following the publication of the unauthorized biography Plata como cancha. The case pursued not only the author and the publishing house but also the CEO of Penguin Random House Peru, Jéronimo Pimentel, who was given a suspended two-year prison sentence and US $ 100,000 fine by the Judge of the Thirtieth Criminal Liquidating Court of Lima, Raúl Jesús Vega. The author, investigative reporter Cristopher Acosta, received the same sentence and the publishing house received the same fine. All have appealed the judgement.
According to reports in El Pais (Mexico) the case concerned 30 specific passages in the book, released in February 2021 and now in its 7th edition. The book will remain available.
Pimentel spoke at the IPA’s Freedom to Publish panel at Guadalajara International Book Fair. Read about that here.