A crop of cheap tabloid newspapers featuring photographs of naked women and gory car accidents have become best sellers in Lima's shantytowns.
But journalists in Peru charge that behind the pages of sex and crime is a more sinister purpose.
They say they are part of a campaign against investigative journalists who have probed corruption and death squads.
The ever increasing crop of tabloids newspapers in Peru is worrying many of the country's journalists.
They believe the papers are merely fronts for staunch government propaganda.
The tabloids are immensely popular in shantytowns and poorer areas, where literacy is poor.
They feature naked women and lurid, sensational crime stories.
But critics of Peru's president Fujimori say the emergence of the pro-government newspapers are linked with his desire to get elected to a third consecutive term in the year 2000.
Two months ago some of the papers ran articles calling seven reporters from major newspapers and television stations traitors, terrorists and communists.
Under headlines such as "The Rabid Dogs of the Anti-Peruvian Press" they accused journalists of betraying military secrets to guerrillas.
"It's (pointing to "El Tio" newspaper) a newspaper that's only been around for 15-20 days. It already carries government publicity. This is what really comes to one's attention. In effect, it is confirmation that the campaign has been designed by the National Intelligence Services and has as its object to neutralise (my writing), discredit me and above all, they want me to stop writing."
SUPER CAPTION: Angel Paez, Director of "La Republica" and "Clarin of Buenos Aires"
Peru is just emerging from a war against leftish guerrillas that has left 30-thousand dead and thousands in prison for terrorism or treason.
Now journalists are living under renewed fear for their lives.
Paez and his team have broken stories on corruption in military purchases, death squads run by the army intelligence service and a plan by intelligence services to silence journalists.
Although identical articles with the same errors appear in all the tabloids, editors deny that they come from one central source.
And they insist they have no involvement with the government.
"No there absolutely no proof that we are propagandists or anything like that. Yes, in effect there are publications, newspapers and magazines that link us with the government stating that our newspapers are in the service of the government - but from my point of view, it's absolute rubbish. We are an independent paper, we don't compromise the truth or with our readers."
SUPER CAPTION: Patricia Medina, Director of "El Mananero"
Editors put their denials into print with a full page advert on May 27 which denies links with the National Intelligence Service.
The tabloids' popularity in the shantytowns is undeniable - they have a much greater readership and influence than mainstream papers.