Venezuelan journalist threatened for covering prison conflicts demands protection

By Isabela Fraga

A Venezuelan reporter from the newspaper El Universal filed a complaint with the Venezuelan Public Ministry, on Monday, June 4, after receiving a threat for publishing reports about recent conflicts in the prison La Planta, in Caracas, reported El Impulso.

Along with the president of the National Association of Journalists of Venezuela and various colleagues, reporter María Isoliett Iglesias also requested protection from the Public Ministry to be able to "fulfill the duty to inform," reported El Universal.

According to Iglesias, the newspaper received an anonymous message that had information about the attack against the journalist and those who covered the jail crisis, reported the news site El Político. The anonymous message also threatened to steal the journalists' equipment to prevent them from doing their work, reported the news site Reportero 24. The Public Ministry said that it will investigate the case.

It isn't the first time that the news coverage of the conflicts in the prison La Planta have generated problems for Venezuelan journalists. In May, Venezuelan Correctional Services minister Iris Varela, confiscated TV channel Globovision's equipment and interrupted the live transmission of the coverage. The conflicts between the Venezuelan government and journalists have increased during the months leading up to the presidential elections in the country.

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.