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News crews pelted with rocks, their material destroyed, while covering student protest in Anzoátegui

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 19 August 2008, the news crews of "El Metropolitano" newspaper and the Antorcha TV and TV Sur television stations came under attack while covering a students' protest that resulted in the looting of food transport trucks. The incident took place in the town of El Tigre, Anzoátegui state.

Violence erupted after a group of about thirty students from the José Antonio Anzoátegui Technological Institute protested the lack of space in the summer courses. During the protest an armed group - it is not known if they were students of the institution - stopped three food transport trucks, pointed their guns at the drivers and forced them off the road and into the institute's parking lot. They then looted the trucks' contents.

These events were being covered by various media teams, including journalist Yemmy Jiménez, of "El Metropolitano", Manuel Urrutia and Miguel Piñate, of TV SUR television station, and Aurimel González and Darwin Urrutia, of Antorcha television station. This bothered the looters, who reacted by threatening the journalists with their firearms. They threw stones at the news teams and forced the camera operators to hand over their equipment, destroying all their material.

El Tigre municipal police officers intervened to put an end to the protest. They have placed advertisements in different parts of the town trying to recover the goods stolen from the trucks. No suspects were detained, however.

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