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Eight radio stations, two newspapers targeted in rash of vandalism in Cojedes state

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 29 June 2008, unidentified individuals spray painted messages on the walls of radio stations Radio Pueblo 100.7 FM, Rumbera Network 103.7, Plata 105.7 FM, Pachanga 99.7 FM, Guarachera 96.1 FM, Sonido 104.3 FM, Favorita 106.1 FM and Radio San Carlos 920 AM. Some of the billboards advertising the stations were also defaced with graffiti. The stations are based in the towns of Tinaquillo and San Carlos, in Cojedes state, central Venezuela.

The messages were derogatory to the stations, referring to them as liars and threatening them with reprisals. The phrase "Cojedes venceremos" (Cojedes we shall overcome), appears in one spot. Although this is the slogan of a candidate vying for the position of state governor, there is no proof that the perpetrators have ties to the candidate.

A banner of "La Noticia de Cojedes" newspaper was taken down in Tinaquillo. Assailants also defaced some of the newsstands in which the paper is sold, together with "La Opinión" paper, editor-in-chief Marielbis Acosta told IPYS.

On 30 June, leaflets with the names of the radio stations that had been spray painted the day before were scattered in the streets of Tinaquillo. The leaflets contained insults and threatening messages.

According to Miguel Mundo, secretary of the Cojedes Journalists' Association, the directors of the affected media outlets have filed a complaint with the Prosecutor's Office (Fiscalía) calling for an investigation that will identify those responsible for these acts.

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