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Venezuela28 June 2003

Gunmen throw petrol bomb at opposition journalist’s car

Reporters Without Borders today voiced deep concern about a Molotov cocktail attack by four gunmen yesterday on the car of opposition journalist Marta Colomina of the TV station Televén.

Calling the attack reported by Colomina "extremely serious," the organisation urged the authorities to do everything possible to identify those responsible and their motives.

Just hours after it happened, Colomina described the attack on her programme "La entrevista" on Televén. She said two vehicles tried to intercept hers as she drove to the TV station in the morning. Four gunmen leaped out of one of the vehicles and one of them threw a Molotov cocktail at her car. Fortunately, it did not explode.

Yesterday was Journalists’ Day in Venezuela and in Colomina’s opinion, the attack was intended as a warning to all the opposition press. Colomina also works for Unión Radio and writes a weekly column for the daily El Universal.

As Reporters Without Borders detailed in its last annual report, the press took a heavy toll from the political tension in Venezuela in 2002: one journalist was killed, around 50 were physically attacked, approximately 20 were threatened and six news organisations were targeted with explosives. The list is not exhaustive. The press paid the price of the growing polarisation between supporters and opponents of President Chávez. Journalists with the privately-owned news media headed the list of targets. There has been no let-up this year.



In this country
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
20 February - Venezuela
Former policeman arrested on suspicion of participating in journalist’s murder
13 February - Venezuela
Constitutional vote held in climate of polarised media and surfeit of presidential speeches
15 January - Venezuela
Murder attempt against pro-Chávez journalist in Portuguesa state
2 January - Venezuela
New Year’s Day attack on TV station by radical pro-Chávez group

in the annual report
Venezuela - Annual Report 2008
Venezuela - Annual report 2007
Venezuela - Annual report 2006


reports
14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press
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Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence
15 May - Colombia
Former intelligence officials leak list of news media and journalists whose phones were tapped

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