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State-owned television station attacked

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - On 31 July 2011, the headquarters of the state-owned television station Vive TV-Occidente, in Maracaibo, were attacked by unidentified individuals who fired gunshots, according to priest Vidal Atencio, the media outlet's spokesperson. The television station is located in the state of Zulia, in northwestern Venezuela.

Two people were wounded in the attack. Police officer Gustavo Ceballos was shot in the right leg and retired police officer José Brito, now one of the station's security guards, suffered a fracture in one of his legs. Both men were guarding the facilities at the time of the incident.

Ricardo Márquez, Vive TV-Occidente's president, told other state-owned media outlets that the station has broadcast reports about the exploitation of subsistence farmers and indigenous peoples, and that, as a result, some organised crimed groups may view the station as a target that must be silenced.

IPYS-Venezuela condemns the attack on Vive TV-Occidente which could have resulted in a greater number of casualties.
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