I wrote to the UK Guardian yesterday asking why the relatives of the nine government supporters allegedly killed by Capriles supporters in Venezuela have been ignored. In contrast, international journalists immediately interviewed friends and family of a US citizen who was just arrested in Venezuela.
Today, the Guardian followed up with more detail - about the arrested US citizen.
Worth remembering that a third of the Guardian's online readership is in the USA and that it has had correspondents based in Caracas since at least 2006.
It isn't that details about the people killed are incredibly hard to come by in Venezuela. Here is an interview that was televised in Venezuela with a brother of one of the victims.
The letter I wrote to the Guardian follows and contains more information abut the victims.
Dear Guardian editors:
Venezuela is swarming with foreign journalists, has been for years, yet somehow victims of opposition violence and their families never get interviewed.
This article is typical: "Venezuela threatens opposition leader with jail over protest violence"
It mentions that a US citizen is arrested, not killed, just arrested. We are given his name, details about him, and told that his family and a friend were interviewed by AP.
None of the nine people the government says were killed in political violence are named. No mention of any foreign correspondents talking to relatives. It is all left at the vague level of he said, she said. If any effort was taken by Watts or Lopez to independently investigate any of the deaths, interview relatives, they kept it very secret.
Filmmaker Edward Ellis is a rare example of a foreigner in Venezuela who made the effort to investigate opposition violence in Venezuela. You may recall that a petition, signed by Noam Chomsky and many others, was published in the Guardian a few years ago.
It asked why the Guardian (for many years) failed to report the murders of hundreds of Chavista peasants. A few months after the petition was published the Guardian allowed Ellis to talk about the issue in an op-ed.
That was welcome of course, but it seems that the Guardian has learned no long term lesson from any of that.
PS: Here is a list of the victims the government has named that includes
other details about them:
José Luis Ponce Ordóñez (45 años, La Limonera, Baruta, estado Miranda)
Rosiris Reyes (45 años, La Limonera, Baruta, estado Miranda)
Henry Rangel La Rosa (San Cristóbal, estado Táchira)
Keler Enrique Guevara (estado Táchira)
Ender José Bastardo Ágreda, 21 años (Cumanacoa, estado Sucre)
Luis Eduardo García Polanco (24 años, Maracaibo, estado Zulia)
Rey David Sánchez (menor de edad, Maracaibo, estado Zulia)
Jonathan Hernández Acosta (Maracaibo, estado Zulia)
Johny Pacheco (Baruta, estado Miranda)