Venezuelan newspaper under fire from government for publishing photo of corpses stacked in morgue

The Venezuelan prosecutor's office is investigating opposition newspaper El Nacional for publishing on its front page a photo of a dozen dead, naked bodies in a morgue, reported the Associated Press and the Latin American Herald Tribune.

The attorney general's office opened the investigation after complaints were filed by a pro-Chavez student group, according to El Tiempo.

The complaint, submitted to the Department for Family Protection, alleged that publishing the photo violated child protection laws, according to El Universo and El Universal.

During the next week, legal action will be taken to consider the newspaper's criminal or administrative responsibilities, reported AFP.

El Nacional, critical of President Hugo Chavez, contended in a story that the photo was published to illustrate that the morgue was over-run with corpses because of an increase in violence.

Miguel Henrique Otero, editor of El Nacional, was quoted by Ultimas Noticias, as saying the government would rather attack the media than solve crime.

Chavez claims that crime in fact is decreasing, according to Reuters.

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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