Gustavo Azócar

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New York, March 30, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces the conviction of Venezuelan journalist Gustavo Azócar on trumped-up financial crime charges. Azócar, an outspoken critic of the Venezuelan administration, had been jailed since July 2009 and barred from speaking publicly about the case.

Top Developments
• Regulators strip licenses from critical broadcasters.
• Government wages politicized investigation into Globovisión.

Key Statistic
34: Private radio and television stations pulled from the air.


After scoring a major victory in a February referendum that granted indefinite presidential re-election, President Hugo Chávez Frías and his government intensified their years-long crackdown on the private media. The government’s regulatory body took unprecedented steps to target critical broadcasters. Arbitrary decisions stripped private radio stations of their licenses, while a series of investigations threatened to shut down Venezuela’s remaining critical television broadcaster, Globovisión. In the country’s interior, an outspoken government critic was jailed, and an investigative reporter was slain in direct reprisal for his work.

136 journalists jailed worldwide

As of December 1, 2009    |   » Read the accompanying report: "FREELANCERS UNDER FIRE"

On Monday, Venezuelan Judge José Oliveros announced that he would begin a new trial against journalist Gustavo Azócar, an outspoken Chávez critic, who has spent two months in prison without being sentenced. Oliveros, the local press reported, also upheld a decision to hold the television host and blogger in custody throughout the new trial. The news prompted press freedom advocates to express concern that the measure is intended to silence Azócar. CPJ spoke to him from prison today.

Venezuelan Judge Fanny Yasmina Becerra ordered the arrest of journalist Gustavo Azócar on July 29, 2009, stating that he violated the conditions of his 2006 parole on charges of illegal acquisition of wealth and fraud by publicly commenting on his case. Táchira state authorities took Azócar into custody at 10:30 p.m., and drove him to a local prison, according to local news reports.

Updated: April 12, 2006
Original Alert: March 6, 2006

Gustavo Azócar, Televisora del Táchira
IMPRISONED

After being held at a maximum security prison in San Cristóbal for two weeks, Azócar was released on parole on March 22. Azócar may continue to host his television program “Café con Azócar” on Televisora del Táchira and write for the Caracas-based daily El Universal, but he is forbidden from leaving the country or publicly commenting on his case.
New York, March 6, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the arrest today on fraud charges of a Venezuelan journalist known for his criticism of state authorities. Gustavo Azócar Alcalá was arrested in the western state of Táchira minutes after finishing a daily show he hosts on the San Cristóbal-based TV station Televisora del Táchira, a station spokesperson told CPJ. Azócar is also the Táchira correspondent for the Caracas-based daily El Universal.

7 results