Journalists from Univision were detained by government officials and a Telemundo correspondent was kidnapped by unknown assailants while reporting on the Venezuelan crisis.
Jorge Ramos and five other members of his crew – Pedro Ultreras, Maria Martínez Guzmán, Claudia Rondón, Martín Guzmán Monrroy, Juan Carlos Guzmán and Francisco Urreiztieta – were detained for almost three hours at the Miraflores presidential palace on Monday after president Nicolás Maduro said he did not like the questions he was asked during an interview with the Univision crew.
The entire team was released, but all their equipment and memory cards containing interviews and footage were confiscated. The Venezuelan government expelled the crew this morning. They are back safe in Miami.
“It was a clear attack against freedom of the press,” states a Univision spokesperson, who confirmed Venezuelan authorities still have the media company’s camera gear in their possession.
This morning, while Ramos and his team was getting ready to head home, Telemundo’s correspondent in Venezuela, Daniel Garrido, who was covering the detention of the Univision crew, was abducted at 6 am ET by a group of unidentified armed men who forced him into a vehicle and covered his head with a hood.
Garrido was freed after a six-hour interrogation. His equipment was also seized.
According to Telemundo, it’s not the first time Garrido has been harassed.
“On previous occasions, he has been a victim of physical harassment and his equipment has been stolen. Noticias Telemundo repudiates this type of harassment that threatens freedom of expression and human rights,” the company said in a statement, demanding “the physical integrity of journalists operating in Venezuela.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the detention of the Univision news team and called on Venezuelan authorities to immediately return confiscated equipment. It also expressed it was “deeply concerned” about the kidnapping and interrogation of Garrido and is investigating his attack.
These are the images that @jorgeramosnews showed Nicolás Maduro and that caused Maduro to walk out of the interview, order the Univision team detained and their work confiscated. This is what Maduro does not want the world to see. pic.twitter.com/RmszSjmJBf https://t.co/ThJwilFYKV
— Univision News (@UnivisionNews) February 26, 2019