Venezuelan TV station pays $5.6 million fine to avoid revocation of operating license

By Isabela Fraga

On Thursday, June 28, Venezuela's Supreme Court declared an "executive embargo" on the holdings of television station Globovisión until the station pays a $5.6 million fine for covering riots at the prison El Rodeo, which occurred at the end of 2011, reported El Nacional. Representatives of the station on Friday, June 28, went to the court to pay the fine and ensure the station's license would not be revoked, according to Noticias 24.

In an official statement, Globovisión said that it would pay the fine, reported El Universal. Globovisión is forced to pay the fine immediately," the statement said.

The fine of $5.6 million is more than double the original fine -- $2.1 million -- imposed by the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) in 2011 for allegedly biased coverage that helped incite the prisoner uprising at El Rodeo, explained Noticiero Digital. A Globivisión tried to appeal to fine in February 2012 on the grounds that the charges were not proven.

The National Journalists Union (CNP) of Venezuela condemned the court's attitude and accused the government of trying to "silence" 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.