Venezuelan journalists detained for covering oil spill

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  • August 20, 2012

By Isabela Fraga

Three journalists and a photographer were detained on Wednesday, Aug. 15, after covering an oil spill in the city of Freites, in the state of Anzoátegui, in Venezuela, reported the site La Patilla.

According to the NGO Espacio Público's website, officers of the Bolivariano Army and of the country's Department of Prevention and Control of Losses intercepted the journalists' vehicle and forced them to go to the nearest police station, where they were detained for an hour-and-a-half.

Journalists Argel Fernández, Sergio Salazar, and Susana Quijada, along with photographer José González, went to the region of Güepe after receiving complaints from inhabitants about the oil spill in the region that started on Sunday, Aug. 5, at the Leona 20 station, reported the newspaper La Verdad.

The spill already had affected some of the region's watersheds and nearby residents were complaining about the institution Petróleos de Venezuela's delay in addressing the problem, reported El Tiempo.

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.