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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

After death of Chávez, Venezuelan government warns media as attacks on press continue



At least two other news teams have been kept from covering events related to the death of Hugo Chávez last week. On Feb. 7, a group identified as government supporters intimidated and threatened correspondent Luis Alfonso Fernández for the broadcaster América Noticias and a cameraman for the network Alberto Porras, reported the organization Press and Society of Venezuela.

The reporter and cameraman captured the episode outside the Military Academy of Venezuela, where a tribute to the late president was taking place when a group of demonstrators surrounded the journalists, shouting at them and interrupting their filming.

In another case, members of the Venezuelan Popular Union who were protesting in front of the headquarters of Globovisión, which is often at loggerheads with the government, threatened reporters with guns and harassed a news crew who arrived at the scene, reported the International Freedom of Expression Exchange.

Concerned about violent acts following Chávez’s death, Venezuela Minister of Foreign Affairs Elías Jaua said that the government asked private media outlets to be “aware and responsible,” reported the EFE news agency. “We will not permit those who want to see an intervention in Venezuela provoke violent situations, situations that fragment national unity and put national independence at risk,” the minister said.

 



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