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Regional TV host assaulted by municipal politician in Venezuela

On Monday December 9, 2013, Luis Martínez, a columnist and TV host, reported that he was physically assaulted by Luis Parra, a former municipal candidate for the Venezuelan political party Primero Justicia (PJ). This happened at a location in the city of San Felipe, Yaracuy state, to the northwest of the country.

Luis Martínez, host of the Línea Directa TV program, which is broadcast on regional TV channel Yaracuy TV, told IPYS-Venezuela that on the morning after the municipal elections he was having breakfast at a coffee shop in the city of San Felipe when Luis Parra, former PJ candidate for the mayor's office in Independencia, casually entered the shop accompanied by his brother Jorge García and two other persons.

Martínez said Parra approached his table, struck him in his left eye and said: “That's for you to learn your lesson”. The TV host said he got up from his table to confront Parra, who quickly left the premises while his brother, Jorge García, held him down so that he could not defend himself. At that moment, several persons who witnessed the event intervened to prevent further fighting.

Martínez was given 15 days sick leave due to the blow which left him sensitive to light. He said he has no idea what caused the assault and assured us that he has never treated the candidate disrespectfully, neither privately nor publicly.

“A little more than 15 days ago, Luis Parra had been a guest on the Línea Directa program and there had been no problems. The program, of political content, maintains balanced information by inviting two opposition candidates and two official party candidates”, said Martínez.

The journalist filed a lawsuit at the headquarters of the state public prosecutor's office for what he deems a cowardly act and premeditated assault.

On December 12, Rosa Virginia Garrido, head of the press department of Simón Bolívar Commando in that state told IPYS-Venezuela that she would attempt to contact the family members of Luis Parra, because the former candidate has made no public statement since the incident.

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