Also acknowledges progress against impunity
Miami (June 9, 2010)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned an attack on the headquarters of the Cadena Capriles media chain in Venezuela and called for a prompt investigation to determine the motives and bring the responsible to justice.
According to Ultimas Noticias, a Capriles group newspaper, on Monday night (June 7) unidentified persons on motorcycles tossed three Molotov cocktails at the Torre de la Prensa (Press Tower), the Caracas offices of the news media conglomerate of daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and news Web sites. Although the bombs failed to explode they caused alarm among employees.
“We condemn the attack and hope that authorities will quickly perform their duty to investigate and identify the instigators and take them to trial,” declared IAPA President Alejandro Aguirre and Press Freedom Committee Chairman Robert Rivard.
Ultimas Noticias news editor Erys Alvarado requested more information for his company and fellow staff members and recalled that just a few days before the incident a company driver had been abducted and beaten up.
A report by the National Journalists Guild of Venezuela indicated that between January and November last year there were “245 cases of attacks and threats, among other violations against journalists, news media and their employees.”
Orel Sambrano case
In another development, the IAPA welcomed an indication of progress in the struggle against impunity in Venezuela, following the conviction last month of one of the murderers of journalist Orel Sambrano, killed on January 16, 2009.
Sambrano was editor of the weekly newspaper ABC, vice president of the privately-owned radio station Radio América 890 AM and an editorial writer for the evening newspaper Notitarde in Valencia, Carabobo state. Rafael Segundo Pérez, a former police sergeant, was sentenced on May 18 to 25 years in prison after convicted of Sambrano’s murder.
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 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org