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Broadcasting date: 13-3-2006
Title : VENEZUELA, HISTORY’S FIRST TELEVISED COUP
Subject : LATIN AMERICA

"Fortunately we had a powerful weapon", stated rear admiral Hector Ramirez Perez, leader of the coup that managed to overthrow Venezuela’s elected president Hugo Chavez for two days. "As you saw, the army and the special forces didn’t even have to fire one shot. Our great weapon was the media".

 

Reportage Without Frontiers takes a thorough look into a unique moment in universal television history, and presents a special report on TV, fake images and propaganda, on the occasion of its 10th birthday.

 

On April 11 2002 president Chavez’s supporters, as well as the opposition organized rallies and demonstrations. More than 20 people were killed and hundreds were injured: they belonged to both sides and were the victims of policemen and snipers - part of a secret plan to overthrow the president of Venezuela.

 

Caracas is dominated by chaos and Venezuelans open their TV sets to find out what happened. But the four private channels that belong to the opposition attribute the bloodshed to the Chavistas, by artfully editing that day’s footage. The Venezuelan president is left without a voice, as his opponents take over the state television, which is stopped from broadcasting. The public is turned against Chavez and the army intervenes and arrests the president. The next day, the same falsified images are used by the White House to give the junta international recognition. Chavez will only return to power after his supporters manage to set up an alternative information network and set the state channel back in operation...

 

The documentary features interviews with rear admiral Carlos Molina who led the effort to overthrow Chavez, director Angel Palacios who discovered the truth by searching into the TV images of that day, as well interviews with journalists and media experts. The documentary was filmed in Venezuela and the USA.

 

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