To: Francisco Toro, Co-founder, Caracas Chronicles blog
.@CaracasChron: Retract False Venezuela "Pogrom" Claim
The political website Caracas Chronicles should correct allegations made in its viral blog post that throughout the evening of February 19 a "tropical pogrom" took place in Venezuela. There is no record that a single protester was killed or wounded by gunfire on the 19th, leading the blog's author Francisco Toro to admit on Twitter that he had made an "overstatement in the heat of the moment." In the context of a highly fraught environment in which both opposition protesters and government supporters have been killed, Toro should correct his inaccurate and inflammatory post.
Why is this important?
Francisco Toro is the author of a viral piece at the blog he co-founded--Caracas Chronicles--titled, "The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch." In it, he outlined a purported "tropical pogrom" and a paramilitary shooting spree that took place throughout the night of February 19. His post accused the Times and other news outlets of complicity in an "international blackout" regarding the supposed "pogrom." However, as any examination of protest-related homicides over the past two weeks shows, there were no deaths recorded on the day or night of the 19th.
When confronted on Twitter with the lack of any evidence of his "pogrom," Toro admitted to making an "overstatement in the heat of the moment." Nevertheless, Caracas Chronicles has yet to issue any updates, clarifications or corrections to its now disproved coverage. "The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night" has received over 370,000 Facebook likes and shares, and 10,000 tweets. Given their influence, Toro and his colleagues at Caracas Chronicles should show greater regard for journalistic standards.