January 20, 2018

The meeting was held on July 8

Friday, July 9, 2010

Venezuela's Globovisión president requests OAS' help

The president of the censored Venezuelan TV station Globovisión, Guillermo Zuloaga, requested help from the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in order to register his case with the organism, a complaint that involves freedom of expression and the station he is in charge of.

OAS sources indicated that the meeting took place on Thursday at the IACHR headquarters, and that the freedom of expression teller, Colombian Catalina Botero, was present.

According to IACHR, Zuloaga, "a fugitive of Venezuelan judiciary" -according to Venezuelan Interior Minister, Tarek El Aissami-, he went to the meeting after his lawyer asked for an interview with the Freedom of Expression Rapporteur.

"Mr. Zuloaga's lawyer made an appointment in order to register his client's case, which is directly related with the issue of freedom of expression and the Globovisión station," sources explained.

"The meeting was held on July 8 and the case will follow the established regulatory process," they added.

Zuloaga himself told Globovisión he met with the IACHR to request "justice be granted in its case," which he catalogued as a "political persecution that seeks to silence" his station "in the exercise of freedom of speech."

He asked the government to send his prosecutors and attorneys and to "come try if they're capable of proving their case before an impartial justice."

He said that, sooner or later, Hugo Chávez's Executive branch would have to account for what happens in the country, especially on the corruption cases and the violations to the Constitution, according to the digital version of the Venezuelan news channel.

Caracas asked Interpol on June 18 to issue an international arrest warrant against Zuloaga, who is very critical of Chávez's administration, and previously, on June 11, the Venezuelan president had made the same request to the police.

Zuloaga and his son, who share the same name, are accused of the crime of usury and illegal assembly for having obtained dozens of vehicles to later sell at a higher price, according to the prosecutor's office.

The president of Globovisión has said, without revealing his whereabouts, that he would not show up before the Judiciary, which he accused of being biased in favour of Chávez.

Zuloaga considered that, in reality, he is being persecuted for his opinions against the government and for his station's critical editorials.

The Freedom of Expression Rapporteur of the IACHR expressed last June 14 its "profound worry" for the deterioration of Venezuelan freedom of expression, and quoted, among other examples, the arrest warrant issued against Zuloaga.


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