Journalists Attacked, Shot At During Venezuela Opposition Protests
Right-wing opposition protests in Venezuela are attacking journalists, with accounts of reporters having shots fired at them as well as gasoline thrown at them in an attempt by protesters to set them on fire.
The latest case was teleSUR correspondent Adriana Sivori who was shot in the back while reporting from an anti-government protest in the western Caracas parish of El Paraiso early Monday morning.
In an interview with teleSUR, Sivori recalled how several press people were stuck on a bridge when opposition protesters attacked them.
“We were all reporting, as we usually do when Molotov cocktails, nails and bullets began raining down on us from a nearby building. The Molotovs came from a gate by the building, while the shots came from the building, but above us,” she explained.
Visibly shaken, Sivori urged an end to the violence, “I have been at risk before, but this is different. We need dialogue like everyone wants, like some of the opposition wants,” adding, “All press, regardless of tendency, has to be respected.”
Opposition violence against national and international journalists has been repeatedly denounced by the Bolivarian government and various members of the communication guild.
Sivori was covering a “sit-in,” an opposition protest called by the right-wing leadership which was set for 6:00 a.m.
Sivori was left injured from the impact but it was diminished because she was wearing a bulletproof vest. She was left with a huge bruise from where the bullet tore the vest.
Early in the day, Sivori denounced the violence against journalists and said it is a common policy at opposition protests. “The word ‘press’ on the helmet and waistcoat stand out more in the dark, and they chose to shoot me.”
Another case was reported on May 8, when a team of journalists from the Venezuelan channel Globovision were sprayed with gasoline by a group of violent protesters who sought to set them on fire while they were covering protests in El Rosal in eastern Caracas.
Venezolana de Television broadcaster Ricardo Gonzalez’s vehicle was hit and he was threatened with death.
The recurring threat journalists are receiving is: “Don’t film demonstrators.”
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