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The notorious P.N.B.

Having the second highest homicide rate in the world is not an honor that any nation wants to carry on its shoulders, and the burden is particularly high for those in charge of protecting the lives of its citizens. With so many government plans against crime launched in the last few years, it’s difficult to see how…

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Relying on the newsprint of neighbors (2nd Update)

As more visible forms of pressure against the media are gaining in prominence, the newsprint shortage faced by most newspapers in Venezuela (which I coined Newsprint-geddon) is still on the march. On Sunday, El Universal announced that it would reduce its printed edition from Mondays to Saturdays, starting April 15th. Weeks ago, Barquisimeto’s El Impulso said that…

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The war on journalists gets worse, cont.

On the night of April 4th, press photographers who were covering protests in Caracas were attacked by armed security personnel from the building that houses the Prisons Ministry (seen in the picture). Apparently, they didn’t wear or have any form of visible ID at the time. They fired anti-riot shells at the press. In the incident, Colombian…

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The war on journalists gets worse

Yesterday, during the violent rampage by pro-government thugs inside the Universidad Central de Venezuela, several journalists were harrassed, and saw their equipment stolen. Since last month, attacks against journalists have shown no sign of decreasing. According to the SNTP (National Press Workers’ Union), there have been at least 170 cases of aggression against press workers since…

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Esequibo blues

For generations, all maps of Venezuela have included the term “Area in Contention” (Zona en Reclamacion) to highlight the Guayana Esequiba, currently administered by our neighbor to the East, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. It is the largest part of what they say is their territory. Instead, our maps are the only exception to the rule, which sees…

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Getting the message across

The student movement is not only using new media to spread its case to the public. They’re also visiting some of Caracas’ slums to convince their residents and counter the negative image presented by the government and its communicational hegemony. But, as this excellent dispatch from the Associated Press’ Frank Bajak and Fabiola Sáchez shows,…

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Censorship and Rebellion at Cadena Capriles

Cadena Capriles, the largest newspaper group in Venezuela is in turmoil after a special report on the Altamira Square protests was cut from the Sunday edition of its flagship newspaper, Ultimas Noticias. The article titled “What’s behind the guarimbas?” by veteran journalist (and friend-of-the-blog) Laura Weffer can be read here in Spanish. If you’re interested in downloading it…

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Tal Cual goes to court… again

Missing from the news cycle last week was the decision of a Caracas lower court deciding to hear a lawsuit brought by National Assembly Chairman Diosdado Cabello against the owners of Caracas tabloid Tal Cual (including the paper’s founder and editor, the legendary Teodoro Petkoff and former Science & Technology Minister Carlos Genatios) for defamation. The judge banned Genatios…

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Francesca’s story

The case of Italian photographer Francesca Commissari has already been reported on this blog, but her ordeal didn’t quite stop after she was freed without charges last week. The full story can be read in full detail in this extense but excellent report from ABC Color, a major newspaper from Asuncion, Paraguay. Commisari tells about…