Officials seize camera of Venezuelan photographer covering violence

Officials of the Venezuelan National Guard seized the camera and deleted the work of a photographer who was covering violence in a park in the city of Barinas, in southeastern Venezuela, reported the National Union of Journalists on Friday, August 3.

Huanis Alfaro, journalist for the newspaper De Frente, was recording the moment when people were taken hostage by a criminal group, when officials of the National Guard took the photographer's camera and deleted the images from his memory card, according to the Press and Society Institute (IPYS in Spanish).

Tarquino González, general-secretary of the National Union of Journalists of Barinas, demanded respect for journalists and criticized the National Guard's actions, which, according to him, "adds to the long list of abuses committed in Barinas against freedom of expression and the free practice of our profession," according to the organization Espacio Público.

González said that in the last three years, there were 60 cases of violence against journalists, photojournalists, and news outlets in Barinas, the majority of them committed by public officials.

According to a study by IPYS in 2011, Barinas held second place for censorship cases in Venezuela.

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.

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