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Venezuela's anti-hate law provides Maduro with another tool to intimidate the press

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

The following is an excerpt of a 6 February 2018 CPJ Blog post by John Otis/CPJ Andes Correspondent.

In what journalists fear could be a taste of things to come, Venezuela's new anti-hate law was enforced for the first time against a news organization on January 30, 2018 when Yndira Lugo, the editor of Diario Región, was called before government agents for questioning.

Lugo told CPJ that Diario Región - an independent daily and the only newspaper circulating in the eastern state of Sucre - is under fire for a January 11 column. Written by the Communist Party of Venezuela, the column warns that a severe economic meltdown has put the country on the brink of a social explosion. Lugo said that the newspaper was informed that it is being investigated for possible violations of the anti-hate law after a community organization with ties to the ruling Socialist Party complained to the state attorney general's office about the column.

"We are very worried about this. We do not know what is going to happen," Lugo told CPJ.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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