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July 2018

Media Monitoring Report for Venezuela
Posted on July 1, 2018

Compiled by Guillermo Glujovsky

  1. Overview
  2. Current situation
  3. Freedom of expression
1. Overview
  • Venezuela remained in a state of emergency, repeatedly extended since January 2016.
  • A National Constituent Assembly was elected without the participation of the opposition. 
  • Security forces continued to use excessive and undue force to disperse protests. 
  • Hundreds of people were arbitrarily detained. There were many reports of torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual violence against demonstrators.
  • The judicial system continued to be used to silence dissidents, including using military jurisdiction to prosecute civilians.
  • Human rights defenders were harassed, intimidated and subject to raids. The number of Venezuelans seeking asylum in other countries increased.
2. Current situation 
  • Arbitrary detentions.
  • Extrajudicial killings.
  • Extreme poverty (severe shortage of food and basic medicines). 
  • More than 1.5 million Venezuelans have fled the country, for reasons including political persecution, violence, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis. As a result, 2,000 percent increase in asylum applications has been recorded across Latin America since 2014, and hundreds of thousands remain in an irregular situation, which increases their vulnerability.
  • One Venezuelan mother interviewed by OHCHR (The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) said: “I have a little baby that cries and cries because I can´t feed her. The baby’s milk formula costs 3 million Bolivars and my husband only makes 1.2 million a month. (…) My neighbours told me that if I don’t vote for the Government they will take the food, the cash bonus and my house from me. They control the electoral authority, so they know for which party you vote.”
  • Human Rights Watch
  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
3. Freedom of expression

The Office of the Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed concern about :

  • The closure of 50 radio stations by the National Telecommunications Commission.
  • Other media outlets also faced the threat of closure, despite a 2015 ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights declaring that such closures violated freedom of expression. 
  • Anti-government protesters and some opposition leaders were accused by the government of being a threat to national security.
  • The government ordered the removal of some foreign news channels including CNN, RCN and CARACOL from national television cable operators.
  • In September, journalists from the online news and research portal Armando.Info were threatened by unidentified actors for their investigations into cases of administrative corruption.
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