Venezuelan journalist Braulio Jatar was recently acquitted on money laundering charges in a case that began in 2016. (Photo: Ana Julia Jatar)

CPJ welcomes acquittal of Venezuelan journalist Braulio Jatar

Miami, September 13, 2021 — In response to the recent acquittal of Venezuelan journalist Braulio Jatar, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:

“We are relieved that the Venezuelan government’s torturous five-year legal harassment of journalist Braulio Jatar is finally over,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna, in New York. “Jatar never should have been forced to spend one day in prison or under house arrest. It was clear from the start that authorities were punishing him for daring to cover a protest against President Nicolás Maduro.”

Venezuelan intelligence officers first detained Jatar, who manages the news website Reporte Confidencial, on September 3, 2016, one day after he covered local residents jeering at President Nicolás Maduro during a visit to Margarita island, as CPJ documented at the time. Authorities accused him of money laundering, claiming that he was planning to fund a “terror attack” during the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement scheduled to begin on the island on September 13 that year.

After spending almost three years in detention and house arrest, Jatar was conditionally released on July 8, 2019, but was barred from leaving the country and required to present himself before the court every 15 days, as CPJ documented.

On September 10, 2021, the Second Trial Court of the state of Nueva Esparta acquitted him of those money laundering charges, according to news reports.