Inmates fire at TV journalists reporting on prisons in Venezuela

By Isabela Fraga

A team of reporters from the Venezuelan TV channel Televen were attacked on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 10, as shots were fired from the roof of the National Prison of Maracaibo, better known as the Sabaneta prison, in the state of Zulia, reported the news site Noticias Al Día. The shots came from prisoners who were unhappy with the news information currently circulating in the country. No one was injured.

According to the news site NotiZulia, the Televen team was reporting on the prison situation in Venezuela, and when finishing with a fourth interview, the team noticed that about 30 inmates had climbed the roof of the building and started to throw rocks and then fire guns.

The news site Panorama later reported a shootout in the prison began at 8 p.m. that same day. One prisoner was killed.

The National Union of Journalists of Zulia (CNP-Zulia in Spanish) criticized the attack, according to the digital newspaper Informe. In a statement, the CNP-Zulia expressed concerns with the recent threats and attacks against journalists who cover prison conflicts in Venezuela.

In June, a reporter from the newspaper El Universal requested protection from the Public Ministry after receiving threats related to her journalistic work in the prison of La Planta in Caracas.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.