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Radio host is target of armed attack in Venezuela

On the night of Tuesday November 17, Venezuelan radio show host Héctor Alfredo Castillo was attacked in the central city of Valencia, 135 km west of Caracas. Castillo was in his car when he was intercepted by two men on a motorcycle. One of them shot at him pointblank.

This happened in Carlos Sanda Avenue of El Viñedo. Castillo was heading towards one of his usual nighttime theater presentations. The attackers, one of them a tall dark man, took out a gun, and let off at least seven shots. Castillo, who hosts a show on the local radio station Intensa 91.9FM, received three shots.

After being injured, Castillo was given medical aid and taken in an ambulance to the Policlinic La Viña, in northern Valencia. There he underwent surgery. As of the morning of Wednesday November 18 his health condition was stable.

Municipal police officers and detectives from the Scientific, Penal and Criminalistic Investigations Corps (Cicpc) went to where the attack took place. They collected evidence and picked up the bullet casings for further analysis.

Cicpc officials prohibited the family members of Castillo from talking to the media about the attack. A photojournalist from the regional newspaper El Carabobeño was forced to erase the photographs he had taken related to the case.

IPYS Venezuela confirmed that, at least two weeks prior to the attack, Castillo was the victim of attempted extortion by the regional police. He was arrested at a highway post in Carabobo state and police officers tried to take away his car.

IPYS Venezuela independently confirmed that Castillo had mentioned the incident with the police officers on his radio program a few days later. Although he received threats from the officers no authority has clarified whether or not both incidents are related.

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