EspañolThe Venezuelan Association of Foreign Journalists (Apevex) put out a statement on Wednesday denouncing the government of Nicolás Maduro over their attempts to “silence journalists and independent media.”
In the last week, the Venezuelan government shut down the Radio Caracas Radio (RCR) program Aquí entre tú y yo (Between You and Me) and suspended the 22-year-old independent radio station Sensacional 94.7 FM.
— Apevex (@Apevex) August 20, 2014
The Venezuelan Telecommunications National Commission (CONATEL) suspended the RCR program over allegations that it violated the country’ controversial Law of Social Responsibility for Radio, TV and Electronic Media, which prohibits certain kinds of political speech. CONATEL cites several possible “violations” in which the program’s host Nitu Pérez Osuna, her guests, or callers to the show called President Maduro a “dictator,” “drug trafficker,” and “assassin.”
Only days later, CONATEL shut down Sensacional Radio after refusing to renew their broadcasting license. CONATEL officials, along with members of the National Guard, arrived at their studios on Tuesday and ordered them off the air. Hours later, a new radio station, called Radio Popular, began broadcasting music from Sensacional’s old 94.7 FM frequency.
“The official censorship also appears to have some allies in private media, as shown by a recent complaint made by the journalists and editors of the newspaper El Universal,” said Apevex.
The El Universal employees expressed their concerns in a press release stating that “a series of events reached its climax on the evening of August 14, with the deletion of information of high national interest regarding the labor-management conflict in Siderúrgica del Orinoco C.A. (Sidor).”
Instead of the original news story that revealed details regarding the collective contract agreement with Sidor workers, it was replaced with the government’s official version of the events.
In their statement, Apevex calls on regional and international journalist organizations to condemn the Venezuelan government’s “serious violations of freedom of information, speech, and the press.”
EspañolOn Wednesday afternoon, Guatemala's armed forces suffered a number of fatalities. A helicopter crash near the northwest border with Mexico killed the head of the Guatemalan military's joint chiefs of staff, General Rudy Ortiz, along with four other military officers. Defense Minister Manuel López Ambrosio said the plane went down in the village of El Aguacate, over 400 kilometers from Guatemala City, in the mountainous western province of Huehuetenango. López identified the other four victims as General Braulio Mayén, Colonel Rony Adolfo Anleu del Águila, Colonel Juan de Dios López Gómez, and Major Selvin Ricardo Raymundo Donis. Ortiz led the operation, as the team flew a Bell 206 helicopter to the town of Ixquisis, where the two generals were to meet with other troops in the area, López said. "They couldn't land in Ixquisis and instead decided to go to the military base in Las Palmas and in that trajectory the helicopter crashed," said the minister. The cause of the crash is still unknown, and López declined to comment on whether a may have been some sort of attack. "We can't speculate about the causes [of the crash] because the helicopter was in good condition, according to the air force," he said. "We have a complete investigation underway, and our military personnel are on their way to the area." https://twitter.com/GuatemalaGob/statuses/502330140727443458 President Otto Pérez Molina and members of the armed forces pay tribute to today's fallen officers in Huehuetenango Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina sent his condolences for the deaths of the five military officers via his Twitter account. The President also paid special tribute to General Ortiz and his service. "His hard work and dedication during his military career served to strengthen the institution." Sources: BBC, ABC, Fox News Latino.