Venezolana de Television (VTV) broadcasts the cartoons, but the Supreme Court judges acted like their characters.
Using public resources and funds, state-owned TV station VTV broadcast in August 2010 an “animated short film” defaming the director of the civil association Espacio Público, Carlos Correa. The short film showed Correa receiving a briefcase full of dollars from the U.S. government.
The NGO sent a letter to the president of the TV station, Mauricio Rodriguez, asking a series of questions in order to determine who had produced the film and how they had financed its production, among other details.
Rodriguez never answered, and after appealing unsuccessfully to the First Administrative Court, Espacio Público ended up appealing to the Political-Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court on 21 March 2012.
The last hope of knowing what was behind that “animated short film” died on June 6, 2012, at the Supreme Court, with presentation by Justice Monica Misticchio Tortorella. The judge not only rejected the claim filed by Correa on formal grounds, but also added: “this Court notes that Venezolana de Televisión, C.A., has no obligation – general or specific – to respond to the request as filed by the petitioner on August 17, 2010.”
Tortorella Misticchio’s ruling contradicts Article 51 of the Constitution, which reads: “Everyone has the right to petition or make representations before any authority or public official on matters within their competence and to obtain timely and appropriate response. Whoever violates this right shall be punished according to law, and may include dismissal from office.”
“…the petitioner (…) did not submit any evidence that proves the procedures undertaken to request answers from the Administration, and this is why, (…) the claim of inaction is inadmissible, (…)
Finally, this Court notes that Venezolana de Televisión, C.A., has no obligation – general or specific – to respond to the request as submitted by the petitioner (…). So it is decided.”
Petitioner: Espacio Público vs. Judgment No. 2012-0118 of February 16, 2012 of the First Administrative Court
Time of response: 3 months (from 09/03/12 to 06/06/12)
Ruling: INADMISSIBLE, as the Court considered that the petitioner did not submit proof of procedures undertaken and there is no obligation of Venezolana de Televisión to give a response.
Justice: Emiro García Rosas, Trina Omaira Zurita