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TV station closed, journalists attacked in Venezuela

Rafael Maitín, the owner of Pedraza TV, based in the city of Pedraza in the state of Barinas, accused Mayor Yusein Silva of being behind the May 12 shutdown of his station, the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) reports.

The owner says Silva, a supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, owed the station more than $15,000 for a show on the station that the mayor hosted. Maitín canceled the show over the debt and says shutting down the channel was the mayor’s revenge, El Universal explains.

Journalist Damián González, a news host on the channel, also had his radio show on another station canceled after a series of reports on alleged city government corruption, IPYS adds.

In another incident of aggression against the news media in Barinas, IPYS reported that armed youths beat a photographer and robbed a reporter's cell phone while the journalists were covering unrest at the local university.

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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