Venezuelan National Journalists Union condemns attack on TV channel news team covering prison riot

In a press release on Friday, Aug. 24, the National Journalists Union (CNP in Spanish) criticized the attacks against a Venezuelan news team from the Globovisión TV channel, while the journalists were covering a prison conflict in southern Caracas, the capital of the country.

Journalist Delvalle Canelón and the cameraman with him were physically and verbally attacked while trying to document the uprising in the prison Yare I, where more than 20 inmates died during a gang fight on Wednesday, Aug. 22, reported the Press and Society Institute.

Canelón told Globovisión that they were attacked by residents in the prison's vicinity, allegedly members of a political party that supports the government of Hugo Chávez. The journalists suffered from wounds and concussions, and will be under medical observation for 15 days, according to the CNP.

The CNP demanded that authorities enforce respect for press freedom, and find those responsible for the attack on the news team.

Globovisión is in a tense relationship with the Venezuelan government and with its supporters. President Chávez made declarations against the private TV channel many times and warned that "there is little time remaining for it to be on the air” if it doesn't change its editorial line. At the end of June 2012, the TV channel was forced to pay a $5.6 million fee for covering another prison conflict.

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.