Quico says: This new research, though still preliminary, is certainly eye-popping.
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We investigate political profiling by presenting the results of the Prosecutor General’s Office’s investigation and/or indictment of 375 elected officials. The distribution of political affiliation of the sample is compared to the available normative data.
Data indicate that Fiscalía prosecutors across the nation investigate seven (7) times as many opposition officials as they investigate pro-government officials.
Our paper explores the role of the fourth estate and others in detecting such profiling and concludes that what is really needed is transparency, the highlights of which are noted below. The current government appears to be the first to have engaged in political profiling.
- Political profiling makes opposition figures look like they are more corrupt than pro-government figures.
- Political profiling of local opposition elected officials attacks the opposition at the very grassroots essence of its personality. Each local case of reported or insinuated corruption by the central authorities eats at and saps the local opposition’s energy to be the grassroots leader of the movement and drains his or her resources in defense against the comparatively unlimited resources of the central government.
- Political profiling discredits each candidate’s persona as a viable leader of and spokesperson for the local opposition.
- Political profiling weakens the candidate’s ability to raise monies for themselves when seeking re-election and negates their ability to raise money for other opposition candidates.
- By keeping political profiling at the local level — in this way the story is most likely not to be viewed nationally — it makes it harder for reporters to connect the dots between corruption investigations in say Acarigua, Maturín, La Vega and Maracaibo. Each local report of a corruption investigation appears as only an isolated incident rather than as a central example of a broader pattern created by the Prosecutor General’s unethical practice of political profiling.