In the state of Cojedes, 20% of the cases against freedom of expression were registered, due to the closure of six radio stations by the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel). Espacio Público highlighted that the harassment, attacks and closures of media outlets translate into “less news circulating”
The NGO Espacio Público denounced that during the month of July 2022, 15 cases and 28 violations of freedom of expression were registered, with journalists and the media as the main victims.
In your countEspacio Público highlighted that 46% of the violations were related to acts of censorship (13), four were verbal harassment, another four intimidation, six acts of administrative restrictions and one case of judicial harassment.
Among them, the cases of the journalists Gabriel Blanco stand out, who was harassed by a deputy of the Legislative Council of the state of Táchira, who also exposed his personal data; journalist Nayarí González, who was forced by Portuguesa police officials to delete material; and of humanitarian worker Gabriel Blancoaccused of alleged conspiracy and association to commit a crime.
“These coverage impediments translate into less news circulating, which generates disinformation and makes it impossible for people to make truly informed decisions on topics of interest,” the NGO asserted.
Nine institutions were involved as perpetrators, along with five security forces and five officials.
July is the month with the most cases registered in the last four months; at least 53% of these were related to the internet, violating the right to information in several regions of the country due to four major drops in connectivity by the state-owned Cantv.
While in the state of Cojedes, 20% of the cases against freedom of expression were registered, due to the closure of six radio stations by the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel).
The journalist and owner of Impact 91.7 FMCarlos Hernández, criticized the criteria for selecting stations that close, because despite the fact that they have made the requests and delivered the corresponding documents, almost all of them are without formal authorization due to lack of response from Conatel.
The NGO recalled that, although the use of radioelectric space is regulated by Conatel, for more than four years there have been delays and irregularities in the process of updating permits and credentials. This has been used as an excuse for the closure of stations even when permit renewal procedures have begun.
According to the last mapping done by Espacio Público, in Cojedes there were at least 30 active media outlets and 24 of them were private. Among the media recently closed by Conatel, the main source was entertainment, although others such as Impact 91.7 FM They dealt with local and regional issues.