Spanish news agency EFE said Wednesday that three of its reporters in Caracas, two of whom Colombian, were taken from the office by Venezuela’s intelligence agency.
According to the news agency, Colombian photojournalist Leonardo Muñoz disappeared on Wednesday morning and is allegedly detained by the country’s Military Counterintelligence Directorate (DGCIM).
The journalist and his Venezuelan driver were on their way to cover protest demanding the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro when they lost contact with the newsroom.
In the evening, agents of the Venezuelan intelligence agency SEBIN raided EFE’s office in Caracas and arrested Colombian reporter Mauren Barriga and her Spanish colleague Gonzalo Dominguez, said the news agency.
Following their arrest, the journalists reportedly were first taken to their hotel to pick up their belongings and then taken in for interrogation.
EFE’s bureau chief in Caracas, Nelida Fernandez, and the journalists’ attorney followed their colleagues in an attempt to seek clarification about why they were taken and demand their liberation.
The three journalists traveled from Colombia to Venezuela earlier this month to cover the ongoing crisis in the neighboring country.
Venezuela’s journalist syndicate SNTP announced on Thursday that the EFE journalists will be deported to their native countries.
According to Reporters Without Borders, four more foreign reporters, two from Chile and two from France, are also being held by Venezuelan authorities. They were allegedly arrested on Tuesday.