A Colombian journalist on Wednesday was attacked by a crowd of people mourning the death of Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela.
Colombian RCN News correspondent Carmen Andrea Rengifo was allegedly attacked by supporters of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, outside the military hospital where the president’s body is laid out.
The journalist recounted that after about five minutes standing outside the hospital, “someone said we were a ‘coup channel’ that was against Chavez. The word spread. In this moment, the people, men and women began to attack us, my camera man and myself, with motorcycle helmets, fists, sticks and kicks.”
A “coup channel” is a reference to the 2002 coup d’état against Hugo Chavez that forced the president out of office for 48 hours. During the coup, private, Venezuelan media sources including RCTV and Globovision allowed the over throwers to use their television stations to broadcast propaganda for the coup.
Upon his return to power, Hugo Chavez, refused the renewal of the private television stations’ contracts and implemented his own brand of state-run media that remains today.
Dramatic footage of the attack on Rengifo shows the two running away as the crowd chases them with shouts and insults. Rengifo then appears in the frame with blood pouring down her face having reportedly been hit with a shovel.
At the end of the video shots are heard just as the journalist and the cameraman manage to make their escape on a couple of motorcycles.
“They came after us. I really do not know how we got out. My cameraman, Samuel Sotomayor, fell about three times. Shots began to ring out. Honestly, I thought they had killed him,” said Rengifo.
Caracas locals have reported clashes in the city between “Chavistas” (Hugo Chavez supporters) and supporters of opposition leader Henrique Capriles. However official reports have not yet verified this.