Miami (August 1, 2011)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed repudiation of an attack on the plant of the Venezuelan state-owned television channel Vive TV, based in Zulia state, and called on the authorities to investigate the incident promptly so as to determine the motives and bring those responsible to justice.
Ricardo Márquez, president of the television channel located in northwestern Venezuela, reported that the attack occurred around 10:30 a.m. yesterday. A group of unidentified persons shot at the plant from station wagon not bearing a license plate, injuring a policeman who was on guard at the building, hitting him in the right thigh, and a security guard, whose leg bone was fractured as he was trying to protect himself. The television station had been receiving police protection since an earlier attack three months ago.
IAPA President Gonzalo Marroquín condemned the incident and called on the authorities, who had already initiated an investigation, “to identify those responsible and take them to court.”
Marroquín, president of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Siglo 21, added, “In order to prevent these actions becoming customary it is urgent that those in charge give priority to this incident and that it not go unpunished.”
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Robert Rivard, expressed solidarity with the TV channel’s staff, adding, “The best antidote to violence is the prompt application of justice.”
The Vive TV president that the shoot-up was “clearly aimed at the channel’s headquarters,” and added, “They will not manage to intimidate us and we will continue doing our work in the region.”
Vive TV, launched in 2003, “is an educational, cultural and informative news media outlet of the Venezuelan state, which promotes participative and protagonistic democracy, and Latin American solidarity and integration from a new communication paradigm in tune with the political, economic and social model established in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” according to its Web site.
In its recent quarterly report issued on Friday at its Miami headquarters the IAPA mentioned the worsening of violence in the Americas, with the murder of journalists and attacks on media outlets in Mexico, Peru, Honduras and Brazil, among other countries.
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.