Venezuela police fire on students protesting TV station closing

Police fired on students in Venezuela Monday as they demonstrated against the government closing of RCTV, killing one. Nine police officers were also injured.

Local media reports say a pro-Chavez 15-year-old was killed in Merida.

Meanwhile, in Caracas, police used teargas to disperse a crowd of students also opposing the shutdown of the popular cable television station.

RCTV was ordered closed last week because it did not broadcast a Chavez speech in its entirety or run the national anthem often enough.

Criticism of the increased harassment and persecution of news organizations not bowing to the whims of the government are increasing. Reporters without Borders condemned the Venezuelan government’s “allergic reaction” to dissident media voices. Even the Organization of American States weighed in, calling the move regretful. (I guess that is about as strong as diplomats get.)

None of this should be a surprise. Chavez has been moving steadily taking away basic rights and freedoms while centralizing more and more power in his hands.

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Filed under Censorship, Press Freedom, South America

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