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Globovision reporters detained while reporting on an oil spill caused by Venezuelan state oil company

news team for the Venezuelan television broadcaster Globovisión was detained by the country's Bolivarian National Guard as they tried to cover an oil spill in the community of Pararí, in the state of Monagas, reported the International Freedom of Expression Exchange on Jan. 27.

Reporter Giselle Almarza said that residents in the area called the broadcaster to complain about environmental damage from a project by the state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).

The news team was at the site on Jan. 19, photographing and interviewing affected residents. As they prepared to leave the community, the journalists were alerted that GNB officers were in the area to confiscate audiovisual material, supposedly because the reporters did not have official approval. Upon hearing this, the crew abandoned their news van and continued on foot, guided by members of the community, in an attempt to save the recordings, reported the organization Public Space.

The vehicle was stopped by a GNB command and PDVSA employees, demanding the reporters hand over their material. After 30 minutes, the guards freed Almarza. "They searched our vehicle and interrogated us. We explained that the residents of the Community Council called us and, after a half an hour, we were allowed to leave. They did not explain why we were being detained," said the reporter, according to Globovisión.

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