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04/09/2011 | Venezuela: Brothel creepers

The Economist Staff

In the dozen years since Hugo Chávez came to power, Venezuela’s government has closed down three television channels and 32 radio stations it didn’t like by revoking their licences. This week, for the first time, a court ordered the closure of a newspaper, 6 to Poder (“Sixth Power”), a weekly scandal-sheet, and the arrest of its editors. Their offences: “insulting public officials”, “instigating hatred” and “offending women”.

 

The paper had published a photo-montage portraying six prominent female officials, including the supreme-court president, Luisa Estella Morales, and the public prosecutor, Luisa Ortega Díaz, dressed as dancers in a brothel “directed by Mister Chávez”. The article was intended to highlight the subordination of constitutionally independent powers of state to the president. The six women responded by organising a demonstration at which they urged each other to take action. One of them, the ombudswoman, whose job is to curb abuses of state power, demanded a criminal investigation. The ruling party claimed to see in the article an opposition plot to overthrow the government.

6to Poder’s editor, Dinorah Girón, was arrested within hours of the edition hitting the news-stands, and later released pending trial. The publisher went into hiding.

The speed with which the government reacted contrasts with its lethargic response to similar complaints against state media. For example, Miguel Henrique Otero, editor and publisher of El Nacional, one of the country’s most important dailies, is still waiting for an answer from the broadcasting authority after he complained when Mario Silva, a rabidlychavista presenter on state television, called him un hijo de puta (“a son of a whore”). He just meant “a bad person”, declared Mr Silva.

The closure of 6to Poder has prompted mixed feelings on both sides of Venezuela’s political divide. Some opponents of Mr Chávez, while condemning censorship, are critical of the weekly’s low journalistic standards. On the other hand, some chavistas have condemned the closure of a little-read paper as giving ammunition to the regime’s critics. But the newspaper has to some extent proved its point: state institutions in Venezuela are run for the benefit of the government, not the people.

The Economist (Reino Unido)

 


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04/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
22/08/2008|
22/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
24/05/2008|
24/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
29/04/2008|
11/02/2008|
05/01/2008|
09/12/2007|
18/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/09/2007|
26/08/2007|
25/08/2007|
11/07/2007|
16/06/2007|
16/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
24/04/2007|
24/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
28/02/2007|
28/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
17/11/2006|
30/09/2006|
28/07/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
06/03/2006|
21/02/2006|
17/02/2006|
31/01/2006|
10/01/2006|
28/12/2005|
31/10/2005|
26/09/2005|
29/08/2005|
11/08/2005|
08/08/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|

ver + notas
 
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House