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Photographers wounded and media vehicles attacked during fight among students over proposed constitutional reform

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 7 November 2007, photographers Simón Clemente and Julio César Suárez, of the newspaper "2001", and Gustavo Ortiz of the newspaper "El Carabobeño", were wounded while covering the fight between opposing groups of students who either approve of or oppose the constitutional reform proposal, at the main campus of the Central University of Venezuela (Universidad Central de Venezuela, UCV) in Caracas.

Clemente was wounded in the head. Suárez suffered a broken leg and lost his camera. The assailants were not identified. Both photographers received medical attention.

Ortiz, of "El Carabobeño", was threatened with a gun by unidentified individuals who grabbed his camera.

Also, at one of the gates of the UCV, individuals presumed to be supporters of the government threw an incendiary device at a vehicle owned by RCTV Internacional television station that was inside the campus, in which technician Ismael García was riding. They also threw rocks and other heavy objects at the windows of a vehicle owned by Globovisión, in which technicians Carlos Castro and Tony Vergara were sitting. Both of them were hit.

During the last few weeks, there has been an increasing number of attacks on journalists covering protests for and against the proposed constitutional reform, which is to be voted on in a national referendum on 2 December and has created a stir in the country because, among other things, if passed it would allow presidents to run for re-election an unlimited number of times.

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