28 January 2008


National Assembly president accuses media outlets of misreporting, threatens investigation; demonstrators harass television crew

Incident details

Mayela León


This is available in:

English Español
(IPYS/IFEX) - On 18 January 2008, the president of the National Assembly, representative Cilia Flores, accused television station Globovisión of "informational terrorism" and of undermining the country's stability. She made the accusation in response to a Globovisión broadcast about the National Assembly's approval of an agreement supporting President Hugo Chávez's proposal that the government of Colombia and the international community recognize Colombia's two main insurgent groups - the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) and the National Liberation Army (Ejercito de Liberación Nacional, ELN) - as "belligerent forces" rather than as "terrorists".

On 17 January, Globovisión published a report on its webpage stating that the National Assembly had approved a legislative bill conceding political status to the FARC and ELN guerrillas. Flores denied this report, pointing out that the agreement backed Chávez's proposal, but did not actually grant such status to the armed groups. She stated that the television station abides by an editorial policy imposed by the United States.

She added that by publishing this report, Globovisión was contravening the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television (Ley de Responsabilidad Social en Radio y Televisión), which regulates media content.

She also accused the television station RCTV Internacional, the newspaper "El Nacional" and the networks BBC, CNN and RCN of distorting the content of the agreement approved by the National Assembly, and accused journalist Patricia Poleo, exiled in the United States since 2005, of being a member of the paramilitary.

Flores indicated that the Assembly's commission on science, technology and social communication (Comisión de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medios de Comunicación Social) would investigate the mentioned media outlets.

In a separate development, on 23 January, a group of alleged supporters of President Hugo Chávez prevented a Globovisión team of journalists from covering a public ceremony organized by university students in Plaza Bolívar in Caracas, to mark the 50th anniversary of Venezuela's return to democracy.

Reporter Mayela León told IPYS that when she and her crew reached the square, they were approached by more than 10 people who insulted and threatened them, warning them that they were not welcome. The group then demanded that the journalists leave the square. One of the demonstrators attempted to seize the camera tripod, but the journalists stopped him before departing.

IPYS condemns these actions, which limit press freedom.


Instituto Prensa y Sociedad
Sucre N° 317
Barranco, Lima
postmaster (@) ipys.org
Fax:+51 1 2473194
More from Venezuela
  • Freedom on the Net 2017: Venezuela

    Along with eroding civil and political freedoms, President Nicolas Maduro’s declaration of a State of Exception and Economic Emergency, extended in May 2017, dictated “strict regulations” to prevent “destabilization campaigns” on the internet

  • Freedom of the Press 2017: Venezuela

    Venezuela’s economic crisis continued to affect the media industry, leaving dozens of publications in chronic danger of closure due to the difficulty of meeting basic operational costs. Many outlets also faced robberies, vandalism, and hackings.

  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Venezuela

    The government refused to recognize a decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ordering the reinstatement of the terrestrial broadcast license of television station Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), which was taken off the air in 2007 after a highly politicized campaign against the channel by then president Hugo Chávez.