By Daisy Galaviz.
The NGO for the defense of democracy and human rights, Peace and Justice Center (Cepaz in Spanish), denounced that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela, there have been 92 cases of attacks against the free press.
NGO representatives said that between March and June, this policy of the regime has increased, with the ultimate purpose of intimidating the Venezuelan society, they claim.
Juan Carlos Mogollon, a researcher at Cepaz, said the regime centralized the information about the pandemic to silence the independent press.
The Cepaz registered 92 cases of repression to the press during the pandemic. The figures are 26 arbitrary arrests, nine seizures of material by police or military officers who force reporters to erase pictures or videos, 13 cyberattacks against the media or social media accounts, 17 harassment and threats, six impediments to mobilization and ten threats on TV or social networks.
Regarding the persecution of human rights activists, researcher Mogollon explained that since the beginning of the quarantine, they counted three threats, five arbitrary detentions, and three attacks on defenders’ homes nationwide.
Mogollon also added a balance of medical personnel who have been detained and attacked amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It reported detention of 14 members of Venezuelan health-workers unions, and six have received threats.
Also, investigator Nicole Hernández explained that since March 13, at least ten leaders have been arbitrarily detained, four have had their homes raided, and 42 have been victims of the so-called Bolivarian fury.
Cepaz researchers assure that the patterns of persecution systematically applied by the Maduro government are not new and instead constitute a state policy to exercise total control and perpetuate itself in power.