NTN24 gives IAPA report on censorship in Venezuela
Miami (February 27, 2014)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder of a cameraman in Colombia and the acts of violence against journalists and news media outlets in Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico and Guatemala.
On February 19 Yonni Steven Caicedo, a cameraman with television news channels TV Noticias and Más Noticias in the Colombian city of Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca province, was shot to death on February 19 by two assailants, as reported by Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP).
Caicedo, 21, had been working for the past seven months with the TV channels but had to leave town after receiving death threats as he was filming a homicide. On that occasion unidentified individuals stopped him from filming and held him prisoner. He managed to escape and left the city, but was killed on his return. Investigations are taking place to determine if the case is linked to the death threats he had received.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, offered sympathy to Caicedo’s family and colleagues, condemned his murder and urged the authorities “to investigate promptly in order to find the suspects.”
Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, also expressed his “concern at the increase in violence against the press in Brazil.”
According to reports by the Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association (Abraji) 14 reporters covering a February 22 protest in São Paulo were attacked and detained by military police. The organization said that of the 133 cases of attacks recorded since June, 63 occurred in the city São Paulo.
Two weeks ago in Rio de Janeiro, Pedro Palma of the newspaper Panorama Regional and Santiago Andrade, a cameraman with Band TV were murdered. Andrade died two days after being wounded in the head by an explosive device while he was covering a demonstration.
Concerning Venezuela, the IAPA has been keeping a close eye on the adverse climate journalists and media are encountering during their coverage of protests. In this regard, the contents director of international television news channel NTN24, Idania Chirinos, visited yesterday the IAPA offices. She presented a lengthy report on the censorship being imposed on the channel, headquartered in Colombia, whose signal has been taken off the air in Venezuela since February 12.
IAPA noted with appreciation Mexico’s public demonstration performed by journalists and media workers on 23 February in the capital and cities across the country to condemn the violence and demand justice for the murder of journalist Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz, which occurred this month in the state of Veracruz. The journalists asked the Attorney General's Office (PGR) to undertake the investigation.
In a mission to Guatemala last week, an international IAPA delegation asked President Otto Pérez, Vice President Roxana Baldetti and Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz for greater efforts to solve the four murders of members of the press committed in 2013, and some 100 attacks on journalists and media outlets in recent months.
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.