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Journalist's vehicle torched following threats from Guárico state governor over article on corruption

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 3 May 2007, journalist Werner Córdoba's vehicle was torched while parked in front of his home, located in Aragua state in central Venezuela. The vehicle bore a "press" decal. The body of the vehicle was damaged by the flames. Córdoba works in the political news section of "La Prensa del Llano" daily newspaper in the city of San Juan de los Morros, located in the neighbouring state of Guárico, 70 kilometers from Aragua.

The journalist told IPYS that two weeks earlier Guárico Governor Eduardo Manuitt threatened to take him to court for having reported allegations that the governor was involved in corruption, embezzlement of public funds and human rights violations. Córdoba believes the arson attack may be related to that threat.

In 2002, Córdoba had to move away from San Juan de los Morros to Aragua, when he realised he was being kept under surveillance by unidentified individuals.

Córdoba has filed a complaint about the arson attack with the office of the Aragua state's superior prosecutor (Fiscalía Superior). As well, he intends to ask the Guárico state Ombudsman's Office (Defensoría del Pueblo) to arrange for protection for him and his family.

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