During the highly criticized Venezuelan presidential elections on May 20, monitors of freedom of expression recorded physical attacks on journalists as well as intimidation. It’s more of the same for a community of journalists that has been threatened physically, in the courts and online while covering growing political and societal unrest in recent years.
In #VenezuelaALaFuga (Venezuela On The Run), text, video, audio and data tell the stories of mothers, fathers and children who have left Venezuela for other parts of Latin America due to the ongoing crisis at home.
Venezuelans surf the net with the lowest internet speed in South America.
Severe restrictions on freedom of expression that include censorship and closure of media outlets, assaults and attacks against journalists and criminalization of opinion contrary to the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, were documented by an annual report of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The report specifically analyzed the situation of human rights in Venezuela during 2017.
After four journalists from investigative journalism site Armando.info left Venezuela due to a looming defamation lawsuit, an important group of journalists and organizations that defend freedom of expression and the press throughout Latin America have signed a statement warning about the serious deterioration of the conditions facing the Venezuelan press.
Each day in Caracas, reporters from different independent digital media sites in Venezuela visit the city’s morgues to collect data about the day’s victims. Name and surname, circumstances of death and other information about the deceased are recorded in a journalistic database and trends or important stories make their way onto the sites as more in-depth stories.
Due to what they say is a lack of judicial and procedural guarantees, four prominent Venezuelan journalists who were criminally sued for continued aggravated defamation and aggravated injury (injuria), chose to leave Venezuela, according to the statement they sent to the national and foreign press.
Three Latin American journalists appear on the Committee to Protect Journalist’s (CPJ) annual census of journalists imprisoned around the world. Guatemalan Jerson Antonio Xitumul Morales, Ecuadoran Enrique Rosales Ortega and Venezuelan Braulio Jatar are three of the 262 journalists imprisoned around the world, according to the census, which was published Dec. 13.
Venezuelan journalist Jesús Medina announced on Nov. 23 that he left his country due to threats against him and his family because of his work. In early November, Medina went missing for two days in what he says was an abduction due to his reporting on how Tocorón prison in northern Venezuela is allegedly controlled by prisoners.
Journalists from El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil and Panama were winners at the 15th edition of the Latin American Awards for Investigative Journalism. The Press and Society Institute (IPYS for its acronym in Spanish) and nonprofit Transparency International revealed the winners on Nov. 5 during the 2017 Latin American Conference for Investigative Journalism (COLPIN). In addition to recognizing the award winners, the organizations also provided funding for new transnational investigations.