Accomplices Galore

I’m with Juan here.

It’s not as if Judge Afiuni’s rape and torture story is some kind of freak exception. The dire, dire human rights situation inside Venezuelan jails has been public knowledge for years.

Venezuelan human rights bodies have researched it in detail. International human rights organizations have written about it ad nauseam. Hell, this blog has banged on and on about it at eye-glazing length.

But the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ urgent injunctions to improve the ghastly conditions on the inside were met with…a decision to withdraw from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Nobody in Venezuela who takes his or her citizenship duties even a little bit seriously can be unaware that things like what happened to Judge Afiuni – and worse – happen every day to people under the custody of the Venezuelan state. The statute of limitation on the state’s ability to pretend it somehow didn’t know about it, or didn’t have time to tackle it, or for some reason is excused from its responsibilities is well past. Well past.

And so it was on October 7th.

There are no imaginable excuses left. A vote for Chávez was, at the very least, an expression of utter disinterest towards the coliseos. Towards the casual murders. Towards the prison-administration-by-pran system.

After all, if there’s one thing worse than being raped in jail it’s being killed there, and that’s been happening to Venezuelan prisoners. On a daily basis. For years. And it’s public knowledge. And it’s getting worse. And nobody cares.

There isn’t anyone left who can pass the laugh-test as he pretends to be surprised that allegations of prison rape by high-profile political prisoners are met with calls to investigate…the prisoner. Not even Noam Chomsky.

The time for softballing this stuff is over.

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