Luz Mely Reyes

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The near deserted newsroom of Caracas daily El Nacional, pictured in October. Like many Venezuelan outlets, several of its journalists are in exile to escape legal action and the deepening economic crisis. (AFP/Federico Parra)

Lawsuits and economic crisis drive Venezuela’s journalists into exile

When Ewald Scharfenberg, the founding editor of the Venezuelan investigative news website Armando.Info, holds editorial meetings, he pulls out his mobile phone. That’s because most of his reporters are in Venezuela while Scharfenberg lives and works in neighboring Colombia.

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After leaving Globovisión, Alberto Ravell, pictured in 2010, set up critical online news site La Patilla. (AFP/Miguel Gutierrez)

In Venezuela, online news helps journalists get their voices back

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was rumored to be gravely ill four years ago, his socialist government was tightlipped about the diagnosis. Then in June 2011 a source in Havana, Cuba, where Chávez was being treated, told Nelson Bocaranda, a veteran columnist for the Caracas daily El Universal, that the president had cancer.

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Shoppers flock to stores after the government orders business owners to lower prices. (Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Venezuela tries to suppress reports of economic upheaval

Amid skyrocketing inflation and shortages of basic goods, Venezuelan authorities claim that an “economic war” is being waged against the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro. The government is striking back by forcing stores to discount prices, by arresting business owners accused of hoarding–and by targeting journalists trying to cover the grim economic news.

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