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Quick Reads + Venezuela

Media archive · 564 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Venezuela

Venezuela Decoded, Making Sense of Conflicting Accounts

Back in February 2014, Venezuelan journalists Mary Avilés, Ana María Carrano and Martín Quiroga, currently living in Silicon Valley, were frustrated with trying to find out what was really happening back home. After first protests that month, Twitter had become the last independent channel for information and everyone was using it — the government, the opposition officials, journalists and citizens. At the rate of 1,000 tweets per hour, their contradictory reports parrying on cell phone screens and it was hard to figure out who to believe.

Avilés, Carrano and Quiroga are or have been John S. Knight Foundation fellows. Along with Douglas Gómez, Ana María Carrano's husband, after intense weeks, and having recruited some additional team members, they rapidly built and launched Venezuela Decoded, an online platform to help people make sense of conflicting accounts about that country’s ongoing civil unrest that have been flooding social media:

What I hope for Venezuela Decoded is to became a reference site for international audience and media about the Venezuelan conflict, a kind of a landing page,” Aviles said. [...] “I believe we can contribute leveraging the power of social media in journalism.”

Inspired by Syria Deeply, the team recently applied for a Knight Foundation News Challenge grant to help fund their efforts. You can see their proposal here.

PHOTOS: Protests in Caracas, April 1

Website PRODAVINCI posts nine pictures by Andrés Kerese taken during protests in Chacao, one of the subdivisions of the metropolitan district of Caracas, on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

Chacao

Photo by Andrés Kerese, used with permission.

Coming Soon! Rising Voices Microgrants for Amazon Communities

Amazon Peru, photo by Pearl Vas  (CC BY 2.0)

Amazon Peru, photo by Pearl Vas (CC BY 2.0)

Rising Voices will be launching a microgrant competition next month for digital citizen media projects in the Amazon region which is home to many indigenous communities. Thanks to Avina Americas, Fundación Avina, and the Skoll Foundation, we'll be offering this support with ongoing mentorship from the Global Voices community.

Read more about the project on Rising Voices and register your interest here.

Citizen media has played an important part in many cultural, political, social and environmental struggles in the region. See some of our past coverage of Amazon communities on the special coverage page: Forest Focus: Amazon.

Amnesty International: ‘Spiral of Violence a Threat to Rule of Law in Venezuela’

Amnesty International has released a report which documents “allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed in the context of the massive public demonstrations since early February.”

“The country runs the risk of descending into a spiral of violence unless steps are taken to bring the conflicting parties around the table. This can only happen if both sides fully respect human rights and the rule of law. Unless this happens, the death toll will continue to rise with ordinary people bearing the brunt,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

According to the report, 37 people have died and over 550 have been injured:

According to figures released by the Office of the Attorney General on 27 March 2,157 have been detained during the protests. The vast majority has been released but continue to face charges.

You can read the complete report [es] in the Spanish-language version of the Amnesty International website.

Venezuelan Protesters Behead Hugo Chávez Statue

This photo of a statute of the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, has rapidly gone around the world since it was tweeted last week:

In Táchira, they tore down a MONUMENT of the deceased ASSASSIN and they beheaded it. Fear PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) for your time has come.

The image has been copied and retweeted hundreds of times, causing all sorts of reactions. Here's one from a government supporter:

Beheaded by fascists, the monument to the President Commander Chávez in Táchira. Following a Ukranian-style coup by the book. 

Soon the image made it to the mainstream media, which informed [es] that the beheading happened during protests in San Antonio del Táchira. It was also reported that the statue was destroyed [es] afterwards.

Let's remember that Táchira, a Venezuelan border state with Colombia, was the birthplace [es] of the student protests against Nicolás Maduro's government, who ordered the deployment of the army [es] in the zone. The “gochos”, as the locals are known, have been the subject of many memes created by Venezuelan netizens due to their participation in the protests.

Here's another picture of the same scene:

CHAVEZ BEHEADED!!!

Venezuelan TV Station Didn't Air Oscars for the First Time in 39 Years

Given the rumors that the Academy Awards Ceremony would include artists’ messages regarding the protests in Venezuela, the event was not aired [es] by Venevisión, the biggest television outlet in Venezuela which traditionally aired the ceremony.

The network informed on Twitter:

We want to inform that we don't have the rights to air the Academy Awards this year.

The reactions to the possibility that some artists might have sent a solidarity message with the protests went from jokes…

The world's most famous drug-addicts attack Venezuela today from the Academy Awards. Don't miss it.

…to gratitude.

Meanwhile, many creative memes on the matter appeared on the web.

It's worth noting that Venezuelans with cable TV were able [es] to watch the Oscars.

Caribbean: How the Media Shapes Perception

Both Venezuela and Haiti have been facing anti-government protests. However, the international media’s escalation of the Venezuelan crisis and their complete silence when it comes to Haiti, raises some important questions about the United States’ inconsistency in upholding the values of human rights and democracy.

Kevin Edmonds calls out the mainstream media.

PHOTOS: Venezuelan Women March for Peace in Caracas

Caracas, Venezuela. 22nd February 2014 -- Thousands of women rally in Caracas to demand an end to the violence sweeping the country. A woman holds a sign that reads: 'Hail to peace and love'. Photo by Jesus Gil, Copyright Demotix.

Caracas, Venezuela. 22nd February 2014 — Thousands of women rally in Caracas to demand an end to the violence sweeping the country. A woman holds a sign that reads: ‘Hail to peace and love'. Photo by Jesus Gil, Copyright Demotix.

Women who support the government of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro took to the streets on Saturday, February 22, to demand an end to the violence that has been sweeping the country as protests continue.

Photographer Jesus Gil shared photos of the demonstration on Demotix:

Caracas, Venezuela. 22nd February 2014 -- Thousands of women rally in Caracas to demand an end to the violence sweeping the country.  A woman with a Hugo Chavez poster joins the march. Photo by Jesus GIl, copyright Demotix.

Caracas, Venezuela. 22nd February 2014 — Thousands of women rally in Caracas to demand an end to the violence sweeping the country. A woman with a Hugo Chavez poster joins the march. Photo by Jesus GIl, copyright Demotix.

Women march for peace in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo by Jesus Gil, Copyright Demotix.

Women march for peace in Caracas, Venezuela. Photo by Jesus Gil, Copyright Demotix.

The day before the march, Andreína Tarazón, Minister of Women's Affairs and Gender Equality in Venezuela, invited women to join the demonstration:

 We march to demand an end to vandalism and violence, and [to demand] respect for the Constitution.

You can see more photos, reports and opinions under the hashtags #MujeresPorLaPaz (Women for peace) and #MujeresContraElFacismo (Women against fascism)

Protesters who oppose the government also denounced violence during demonstrations held that same day. You can read more about the opposing marches under the hashtag #22F.

List of Deceased in Venezuela Protests Available in 5 Languages

In the blog Panfleto Negro [es], John Manuel Silva and Emiliana Duarte are keeping a list of confirmed deaths from the ongoing protests taking place in Venezuela. The list -originally in Spanish- has been translated into English, German, Italian and French.

Brief Summary of the Situation in Venezuela for the Curious or Poorly Informed

The protests are being carried out in many parts of the country and are lacking in center and direction, having being called through social media networks. Among the protesters themselves, there are many diverse opinions about the opposition political parties, so it’s possible to find many expressions of support and also rejection at the same time.

In the case of Caracas the middle class and college students are the primary actors in the demonstrations. On the other hand, in other states, many popular sectors have joined the protests. In Caracas the majority of the demands are political, including calls for the freedom of the detainees and the resignation of the president [Maduro], while in other cities social demands are incorporated, with protests against inflation, scarcity and lack of proper public services.

Human rights defender, sociologist and journalist Rafael Uzcátegui (@fanzinero) [es] writes a “brief summary of Venezuela’s situation for curious people and/or the poorly informed,” originally published in Spanish [es] but now translated into English.

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