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Television news crew prevented from covering transit system inspection in Mérida

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 18 June 2008, soldiers prevented journalist Pablo Ramón Villa, of the Televisora Andina de Mérida (TAM) television station, from covering the inspection that Jorge Cegarra, the president of the Trolmérida mass transit system, was going to carry out that day. Mérida lies in western Venezuela.

The journalist was waiting for the official at the entrance of the public works site when a group of soldiers attempted to confiscate his video camera and ordered him to present himself to an inspector, claiming that he had no authorisation to record the proceedings.

The reporter and his team waited for the inspector for half an hour in hopes of an explanation of why they were not being allowed to tape the inspection. The official told them that she would deal with them once the inspection was over. The journalist left the premises.

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