Wednesday, August 7th 2013 - 03:07 UTC

Rough going in Venezuela: opposition leader killed; media group suspends activities

Venezuela is becoming a rough environment for those dissenting with the Bolivarian revolution: in the last few hours a leading Venezuelan opposition was killed and on Monday media group announced the suspension of activities following the freezing of bank accounts and arrest of the owner and publisher.

Uzcategui was killed by a gunman on the back of a motorcycle

Leocenis Garcia was arrested several days ago and his personal and media bank accounts frozen

Pablo Uzcategui, a much respected Venezuelan opposition leader was killed on Tuesday by a gunman riding on the back of a motorcycle. The incident took place in the in the home state of the late President Hugo Chavez.

A colleague says Paulo Uzcategui was shot twice at night as he drove through the Barinas state capital with his son. National Assembly lawmaker Carlos Berrizbeitia says the killing of Uzcategui was not a robbery.

He claims Uzcategui's wife was driving behind her husband with the couple's two daughters and witnessed the killing.

Uzcategui led the Proyecto Venezuela party in Barinas. Berrizbeitia says he is not aware of Uzcategui receiving any death threats.

Venezuela is also one of the most violent countries in the world with the highest homicide rates, at about 55 killings per 100,000 people. However political murders are relatively uncommon, however.

The other piece of news refers to the Venezuelan media group 6to Poder that on Monday announced it was suspending all activities due to financial problems caused by the freezing of its bank accounts after the arrest several days ago of owner and publisher Leocenis Garcia.

“Today, a dark chapter in the history of freedom of the press and of information is being written in Venezuela. With much regret, I have to report ... the cessation of all operations of the 6to Poder group,” director Alberto Rodriguez told a press conference.

Rodriguez accused the Venezuelan government of bankrupting the group “in a formal way” by freezing its bank accounts and that of Garcia, after he was arrested on July 30 and accused of money laundering a few days later.

”Today, we do not have the ability to be able to meet the payroll ... It's impossible for us to print the newspaper, impossible to pay the (electricity) and water,“ Rodriguez said.

He went on to say that there are ”more than 100 workers“ who are now without jobs due to the closure of the group.

The cessation of the group's operations shows that the situation of press freedom in Venezuela is ”critical,“ Rodriguez said.

The group consists of the weekly 6to Poder, business daily El Comercio, the 6to Poder Web page, the magazine Usex, the survey firm 6to Poder Datos and 6to Poder radio.

Prosecutors ordered the freezing of the group's and Garcia's bank accounts ”after not being able to justify the large amounts of money handled in their accounts.“

Garcia has had a number of run-ins with the government in recent years.

Two years ago, he was arrested on the order of late President Hugo Chavez and accused of ”public incitement of hate” after the publication of a controversial photomontage in 6to Poder showing the faces of senior officials and judges on the bodies of showgirls.

14 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 Pirate Love (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 04:56 am Report abuse
latam democracy in motion.....
2 Buzzsaw (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 06:14 am Report abuse
So Christina....what were you and your SA buddies saying yeasterday about how well you deal with things in this what you meant.

It would be funny if it wasn`t so sad
3 Sir Rodderick Bodkin (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 07:04 am Report abuse
Democracy, lol.
I just hope this doesn't happen in my country now.
4 GeoffWard2 (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 07:39 am Report abuse
A pretty one-sided 'democracy' that closes and kills the irritating little 'motes' of those trying to hold the government to account,
whilst failing to act on the 'beams' of murder, corruption and laundering of drug money that constitute the official side of Venezuela.

This, presumably, is the benefits-list that Venezuela brings to the table of Mercosur, the South American trading bloc with which the rest of the world is supposed to deal.

... “Join with us in Mercosur; through murder, corruption, vice and drugs we will bring you in your countries a better life.”
5 GFace (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 11:03 am Report abuse
@4 Well “mote” implies that there is some fault that he committed beyond disagreeing with the PSUV -- which I truly doubt. I am, however, waiting how this murder and non-robery, will be endorsed or just blown off by the usual suspects.
6 Socialismo (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 12:46 pm Report abuse
Let me guess, the cocaine capital of the world, COLOMBIA and its “free market” capitalist system would be been better for Mercosur than a Social Democracy like Venezuela? No wonder the world is in the frightening state it's in...
7 GeoffWard2 (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 12:55 pm Report abuse
I would argue that, in Venezuela, it is probably impossible to be absolutely 'squeeky clean' because every element of Venezuelan governance and the operation of its society requires some degree of acceptance of the status quo.
'Acquiescence - to comply without protest,' but this does not imply culpability.
This is the way to survive ... unless, of course, you are an opposition politician. In which case survival is the less likely alternative.

I have had to engage despachantes, etc ('fixers') in Brasil to grease the palms of the administrative establishment simply to get things done.
Yes, I am indeed a 'mote'.
8 ChrisR (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 01:08 pm Report abuse
6 Socialismo

Are you taking the urine or do you believe the crap you wrote?

Both countries are typical of the out of control SA “model” and regrettably under the demented Pepe, Uruguay is fast being seen in a similar light.

A quote for Stevie that really does apply to Pepe “when you lie down with dogs, you end up with fleas”. There are a few “dogs” and at least one bitch in Mercosur now. But at least they all have “social inclusion” at heart, if not in mind.
9 Stevie (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 01:31 pm Report abuse
I got another quote for you Chris.

“He who serves two lords serves only one”
10 ChrisR (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 03:16 pm Report abuse
@ 9 Stevie

I can beat that: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper where's the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?”

Makes as much sense as yours!
11 Stevie (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 04:57 pm Report abuse
One day maybe you become Uruguayo and then it will make much more sense.

“With Liberty, I don't offend nor do I fear”
12 Captain Poppy (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 05:12 pm Report abuse
Socialisma you are so trade and capitailism is so much worse than arresting and suspending the press and media anda murder your oppsition. That definitely is so much better than free trade.

Ever hear that cadence call.......a Yellow Bird? I think of it ever time the bus makes the news.
13 Stevie (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 05:33 pm Report abuse
Personally I consider that “God bless America” to be equally stupid...
An invisible entity in some invisible heaven blessing a nation, I mean, come on...
14 Captain Poppy (#) Aug 07th, 2013 - 06:42 pm Report abuse
Correct you are. As bad as chubby chavo and Jesus. A shame there is no hell because the thought of chubby dorked daily with a forked dork is precious. Instead, basking in his death will have to do.

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!