MIAMI (Florida) August 25, 2017—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today rejected the elimination in Venezuela of Colombian television channels RCN and Caracol Televisión and declared that this confirms that the government of President Nicolás Maduro has taken on "the dark shape of a dictatorship that despises press freedom and democratic pluralism."
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, said that in recent years the Maduro government has taken off the air the signal of six foreign TV channels for their coverage of the unceasing deterioration that is seen in the political and social situation in Venezuela, which the Maduro regime regards as unfavorable for the pro-government forces.
The suppression of RCN and Caracol Televisión is added to those of CNN en Español, NTN24, and Todo Noticias and Infobae of Argentina.
"We call upon the Venezuelan government to reverse as soon as possible this tendency to trample on national and international media, and stop showing the world the dark ways of a dictatorship that despises press freedom and democratic pluralism," Rock declared.
On another matter the IAPA regretted the murder of journalist Cándido Ríos of the Diario de Acayucan newspaper in the Mexican state of Veracruz, the ninth such crime to have occurred this year in Mexico.
"We learned of this murder when we were attending an historic hearing in search of justice before the Inter-American Human Rights Court on the case of Colombian journalist Nelson Carvajal, murdered 19 years ago. The fight against impunity in crimes against journalists seems it will never end in our hemisphere," said Rock, editor of he news Web site La Silla Rota of Mexico City.
Official reports have indicated that Cándido Ríos was shot during an attack carried out by hitmen against a well-known drug trafficking leader in the region and his bodyguard. The journalist had not been the object of this attack, but his family and colleagues allege that he had been threatened by a former mayor, which led to his receiving protection under the mechanism created by the federal government in these cases. The IAPA holds that the investigations should continue to be carried out in-depth so as to identify those responsible, within a framework of serious impunity in this kind of events.
The IAPA http://www.sipiapa.org 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.