Thanks to postings by Otto at IKN and RickB at Ten Percent, I learned about this disturbing story. You probably won’t see this in the anglo media before tomorrow, so I’ll take the liberty of posting this video……and translating the Aporrea story that goes with it:
The tacky-looking menace note, incidentally, reads: “Next time you won’t be saved by Correa and Chávez”.If you’re wondering how Elena Rodríguez could be so composed in the video above, it’s because she’s been there before. I googled to see if there were any English reports on her yet beyond the blogosphere (there aren’t), and found out something rather remarkable: The same thing happened to her two years ago. And, amazingly, RSF–normally in the grips of a huge hate-on for all things even remotely connected to the president of Venezuela–actually reported the story accurately, if briefly:
The Telesur correspondent in Ecuador, Elena Rodríguez, relates the aggressions she suffered at the hands of armed individuals. The journalist says that the aggressors assaulted her and kicked her on the ground, robbing her of her belongings, among which were her documents and the keys to her car.Finally, they left a paper on which was written a threat mentioning the journalistic work she was doing in Ecuador.
That report is dated June 13, 2007. It reads like a real case of déjà vu, doesn’t it?Little wonder, then, that Elena Rodríguez appears so calm. She’s faced this sort of thing on a regular basis. The cowards who did this to her are not only hired mafiosi (and don’t you wonder who their capo is?), they’re also dead wrong. She doesn’t work for Rafael Correa OR Hugo Chávez, but for Telesur–whose president is Andrés Izarra. He is strongly committed to accurate, unprejudiced reporting. How committed? He used to work for the far-right Radio Caracas Televisión until the coup of ’02, when he refused to follow the station’s “zero Chavismo on screen” line and quit. He knew that the streets were seething with angry protesters who wanted their president back, and also that the station’s refusal to report it was inexcusable. At the time, there were no other job openings waiting for him, and the coup had yet to be reversed, so it was an extremely brave thing to do. He probably faced a blacklist by all the other oppo channels, who followed the same line.More proof, in case you needed it, that being an honest journalist in Latin America is a dangerous thing. While the dishonest ones are incestuously living it up in the same office buildings and rubbing shoulders with the high-society toffs, putting out sporadic and lazy “reports” heavy on “with files by…”, the real ones are literally putting their lives on the line to tell it the way it really is. And somebody–no doubt rich and well-connected, probably with strong ties to opposition media–wants the honest journos dead. Perhaps it’s somebody they’ve reported on in past, or are currently following. We shall see…
Reporters Without Borders today condemned threats made in the past month against the Quito-based staff of the pan-Latin American TV news channel Telesur. This is not the first time the station, launched by the Venezuelan government, has been the target of hostility. The press freedom organisation calls on the Ecuadorean authorities to quickly put a stop to it.“The death threats and attempted sabotage of Telesur’s Ecuadorean branch come on the heels of attempts to harass and intimidate its Colombian correspondent, Freddy Muñoz (see release of 16 February),” Reporters Without Borders said.“Telesur represents an important current of opinion in Latin America and the way it is being attacked and smeared in some countries violates the principle of respect for editorial pluralism,” the organisation added. “The threats have already been reported to the Ecuadorean judicial authorities. We urge them to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”In a Quito news conference yesterday, Telesur chairman Andrés Izarra condemned a “campaign of harassment against the station’s staff” in Quito that began about a month ago. He said journalist Helena Rodríguez had received death threats from a “Death to Telesur” email address. “The messages accuse her of being [Venezuelan] President Hugo Chávez’s prostitute,” he said. Similar threats have been sent to other staff members and one of the station’s vehicles was sabotaged.