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Armed youngsters attack and threaten journalists

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - On 13 June 2011, reporter Naiyelis Garcés and photographer Jesús Bastidas, of the newspaper "De Frente", were attacked by about 50 young people who burst into a public university in the state of Barinas, western Venezuela.

The journalists were reporting on the armed demonstrators as they entered the Los Llanos Ezequiel Zamora Experimental Univeristy (Unellez), which has been administered by the Ministry of Higher Education since 2001. Bastidas was covering the incident when he was startled by a group of people who attempted to snatch his camera.

The demonstrators, who were wearing balaclavas over their faces, tried to delete the photographs and hit the photographer on the head. They also stole Garcés's cell phone, with which the reporter had recorded the attack. Police intervention prevented any more violence against the journalists. The young people threatened to burn the newspaper's facilities if any images of the attack were published.

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