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Venezuela14 May 2008

Shots fired into offices of weekly paper that exposed corruption in Carabobo state

Reporters Without Borders today urged regional authorities to step up security after the offices of a weekly newspaper, Dicho y Hecho, which has been exposing corruption, came under fire in Bejuma, Carabobo state in north-central Venezuela.

No-one was hurt in the early-hours attack on 11 May but the interior of the premises was damaged and police found scores of impact points on the front of the building.

The editor, Ximena Escobar, said that the journalists were determined not to give way to this kind of intimidation. “They want to frighten us but we will not shut up”, she said. Dicho y Hecho, which was launched in 2002, has published a series of investigations into corruption in Bejuma.

“We fear that this attack may just be a prelude to more serious attacks, that could physically threaten the staff of Dicho y Hecho”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

“We hope that the investigation by the regional authorities will quickly produce results and that it will take into account the sensitive issues the newspaper has recently been covering. We also suggest that the journalists involved should be provided with security”, it added.



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