Sign up for weekly updates

Deceased man's relatives assault journalist investigating cause of his death; governor accuses media directors of being involved in alleged plan to assassinate President Chávez

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 6 September 2008, journalist Milko Marín, of "Panorama" newspaper, was assaulted while he was on assignment outside a morgue in the city of Maracaibo, Zulia state, northern Venezuela.

The secretary general of the National Journalists' Association (Colegio Nacional de Periodistas, CNP) in Zulia, journalist Nikary Gonzáles, reported that Marín was kicked and hit in the face and stomach by relatives of Jorge Torrealba, a man whose cause of death the journalist was investigating.

According to Gonzáles, the CNP will send a report on the incident to the Prosecutor General's Office requesting an investigation and sanctions against those responsible for the assault.

In a separate development, on 15 September, Diosdado Cabello, the governor of Miranda State and a member of the national leadership of Venezuela's governing party, the United Socialist Party (PSUV), accused the director of Globovisión television station, Alberto Federico Ravell, the director of "El Nacional" newspaper, Miguel Henrique Otero, and the director of "El Universal" newspaper, Andrés Mata, of conspiring to murder President Hugo Chávez. Cabello demanded that the Prosecutor General's Office and the Supreme Court open an investigation into the actions of the media directors and others who are allegedly implicated in the matter.

Cabello also threatened the media directors during statements made publicly in front of the Prosecutor General's headquarters. He went to the offices, together with other members of the pro-Chávez PSUV, to demand an investigation into the alleged assassination plan.

The alleged plan against the president was condemned by the state-owned television station Venezolana de Televisión (VTV) during its "La Hojilla" programme hosted by Mario Silva, who is a candidate for the governorship of Carabobo State and a member of the PSUV leadership. Silva broadcast a recording of a telephone conversation between retired army officers, in which they discussed an alleged plan to assassinate Chávez.

Latest Tweet:

Foreign journalists can now visit Belarus without a visa. @RSF_EECA @OSCE_RFoM

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.