ANTIGUA GUATEMALA, Guatemala (March 31, 2017)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned and expressed outrage at acts of violence against several journalists reported today in Venezuela and described the attacks as a "public exhibition of the disdain for the independent press that the Venezuelan regime has shown for years."
Elyangélica González, correspondent in Caracas of Colombia's Caracol Radio and of the American chain Noticias Univisión, was attacked by about 10 military men as she was covering a student demonstration in front of the Supreme Court in protest at the suspension of sessions of the National Assembly. A video that circulated in social media captured the moment in which members of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) threw the journalist to the floor, kicked her and pulled her by the hair.
González stated that she was telling Caracol Radio what was happening when the military men grabbed her telephone and also seized and broke a second mobile phone that she was carrying.
Local press and media organizations reported that today (Friday) also beaten up by members of the GNB were cameraman Andry Rincón of VivoPlay, reporter Marco Bello of Reuters news agency, Francisco Urreiztieta of Univisión and two journalists of Globovisión, one of them Oscar Graterol.
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, expressed "tiredness and indignation at the new flagrant act of violence on the part of military forces of Venezuela against the independent press."
"We will not let pass this incident of brutality that has been witnessed by thousands of people on the Internet and which will be loudly denounced during the IAPA's Midyear Meeting that is being held in Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, and will be winding up on Monday," he said.
Rock, editor of the online portal La Silla Rota of Mexico, added that "the public exhibition of the disdain of the independent press that the Venezuelan regime has shown for years was made evident today to the eyes of the people of all parts of the world who fail to understand how in certain countries journalists and news media are treated this way."
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.