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Journalist receives death threats after revealing irregularities in health system

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - On 26 April 2011, journalist Laura Domínguez, a Globovisión correspondent, told IPYS-Venezuela that she has received death threats from the personnel officer of the Health Foundation (Fundasalud), Alfonso González, and one of the leaders of the Bolivarian Health Union, Geovani Pinto, in the state of Trujillo, in western Venezuela.

The threats, which according to Domínguez were received in the form of texts and over the radio, are in response to her coverage of two accusations regarding the use of allegedly expired H1N1 vaccines and contamination in the pediatric area of the Hospital Pedro Emilio Carrillo. She has been warned that her life will be in danger if she insists on publishing more accusations.

On 7 April, González and Pinto, accompanied by more than 20 government supporters, attacked Domínguez and camera operator Heisser Gutiérrez, who suffered the fracture of his wrist, while they were covering a hunger strike by nurses at the hospital. The assailants took the journalists' video camera, which was retrieved only after the police intervened.

The journalists, who were assisted by the nurses during the incident, filed separate formal complaints. The officials have not responded to the courts' summons.

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