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Ruling party National Assembly member hits journalist over book content cited on television

(IPYS/IFEX) - In the morning of 20 November 2007, Iris Varela, a ruling party member of the National Assembly, hit and insulted journalist Gustavo Azócar Alcalá, of Televisora Regional del Táchira (TRT) television station, after bursting into the station's recording studios.

After having been interviewed for one of the station's programmes, the representative searched for Azócar Alcalá to reproach him for having revealed details about the death of her newborn son, which took place in 1992. The journalist had commented on that event, citing information provided by anonymous sources in his book "Historias Negras de los Próceres Rojos. La Comandante Fosforito" (literally: Black Histories of the Red Leaders. The Excitable Commander). The book deals with Varela's political behaviour.

Azócar Alcalá stated that he will sue Varela, who, during the confrontation, demanded her right to publicly comment on what he had published.

The journalist opposes the government and the authorities of Táchira, in western Venezuela. Varela justified her act of aggression by claiming that Azócar Alcalá constantly criticizes her performance as a public representative.

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