Miami (January 15, 2009) – The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned an attack on Venezuelan journalist Rafael Finol from the newspaper El Regional and called for a prompt investigation of the incident by authorities to identify the responsible and bring them to justice.
Finol, a reporter covering the police beat in the western Venezuelan state of Portuguesa, was attacked Tuesday (January 13) by unidentified assailants who shot at his head several times as he was leaving the newspaper’s offices. He survived the attack but sustained head wounds.
Although it was not immediately known if the incident was connected to his work as a journalist, Finol, a supporter of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez, told local media that he believed it was politically motivated and carried out by ultra-rightists.
“We condemn the attack on the journalist and we are pleased that it did not have fatal consequences. It is now up to the authorities to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice,” declared IAPA President Enrique Santos Calderón, editor of the Bogotá, Colombia, newspaper of El Tiempo, and the chairman of the organization’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Robert Rivard, editor and executive vice president of the San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio, Texas