By Ingrid Bachmann
Venezuela’s telecommunications agency, Conatel, ordered Televén to immediately stop broadcasting the Colombian telenovela soap opera “Chepe Fortuna” for promoting “political and racial intolerance, as well as xenophobia and crime advocacy,” Reuters and BBC Mundo report.
According to AFP and Reuters, Conatel said the telenovela presents a “denigrating treatment” of Venezuela. One character named “Venezuela” – the sister of “Colombia” – is “repeatedly characterized as associated with crime, interference and vulgarity, showing the shameless manipulation of the plot to demoralize the Venezuelan people,” Conatel said, quoted by Reuters. "Venezuela" also has a dog named “Little Hugo,” a presumed reference to President Hugo Chávez.
The agency also demanded that Televén stop broadcasting the program “12 Hearts,” arguing that it includes content that “distorts the conscience and sensibility” of minors, El Universal adds.
Conatel pulled all drug-trafficking themed telenovelas off the air in November, saying that they hurt the social and psychological well-being of children.
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.