Marcelo Crovato, Jailed for Defending Human Rights, Gets House Arrest

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Lawyer Marcelo Crovato (center), with his legal team after his release from Yare III prison. He’s now on house arrest.

After ten months behind bars, laywer Marcelo Crovato was released yesterday from the notoriously violent Yare III Prison. He’s been put under house arrest by the order of a local court.

Crovato was arrested back in April while defending Chacao residents whose houses were raided by the authorities. His personal situation worsened as his trial was delayed. He could hardly cope with conditions at Yare, and attempted to end his own life last December. Later he protested. He was on the third day of a hunger strike when the court decided to change his reclusion site.

His case was taken up by Amnesty International, which called for his release noting there’s no solid evidence against him. The government’s case rested on the testimony of an anonymous informant (which the central government calls a “cooperant patriot”, a controversial term considered by human rights groups as excuse for undercover agents).

After months of uncertainty and despair, Mr. Crovato is at last back home with his family. But his ordeal with the Red Justice system is far from over. As A.I. reported in its 2014-15 report: “The justice system was subject to government interference, especially in cases involving government critics or those who were perceived to act in a way contrary to the authorities’ interests.” The only thing we can say for sure is that the State will continue to cynically shrug off all criticism against it.



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  1. There’s always a specially despised herd of detritus-eaters who will gladly forsake any dignity and self respect just to have a miserable benefit.

    In the chaburro dictatorship, those detritus chuggers are the cooperant patriots, also known as “toads” (Sapos), which have always been an illegal figure in Venezuelan law, even to the extreme that the corpse himself had to recoil in the only twisted attempt at trying to pass them in a law, which was remembered as the infamous “Ley Sapo”

    Now the Starscream of the involution has picked up that venom-filled syringe and screws anybody he wants, fabricating any bullshit to send people to jails where they’ll be tortured or murdered.

    The toads today know that they are getting involved in something that will end much worse for them than for even the murderous colectivos, we all know that Mussolini ended hung by his ankles, beaten and spit by everybody, but how did the fascist toads end? The answer might be even more grim than the fate of the dictator himself.

  2. Once the phone “judiciary” of this corrupt dictatorship meets its end, Venezuela needs a stronger system of bail before trial. In many of the high-profile cases (Afiuni, Alvarez Paz, Lopez, this fellow, and eventually Ledezma) people who would never fail to appear in court are punished before trial by not being granted bail once charges are laid.

    I never read much about this; Venezuelans seem to assume that Pretrials detention is the norm.

    So arrest, plus looooong delays, means the government can punish whoever it likes.
    Such arbitrary power should never again be given to the state.

  3. At risk of being ridiculed, I would like to point out some things that I feel are being overlooked. First of all, we all are much better at complaining about what’s wrong than coming up with good solutions. Pointing out corruption and injustices is going to reinforce what most of us already know, but it only falls on deaf ears to those that don’t.
    For those deaf ears, I think it might be more productive to figure out how they got so unreasonable and so ambivalent about the injustices that have become a common tool to wield power and the wholesale waste and destruction from the horrible mismanagement of the public treasure.
    I have to think that they weren’t born that way. I’m trying to imagine that the Chavismo rhetoric is resonating among those living in the barrios and elsewhere amongst those who have been suffering hopelessness for too long. They don’t want to go back, and if the middle class suffer now and the opposition politicians suffer, that by itself gives some form of satisfaction. It is not going to be productive calling their heroes fascist savages, even though they are! I think there is an enormous opportunity to find common ground when you think about how well socialism can work in Scandinavian countries that have long and harsh winters, which probably evolved out of necessity. One might imagine that Venezula with no winters could do much better, and Venezula might need to evolve into a type of socialism that evolves out of political necessity. I’m not a fan of socialism, but a blood bath might be a worse option.

    • I get your valid points but when reviewed in depth would add the following before taking a strong stance:

      Socialists often forget that life is not Christmas.They think there’s a happier kingdom where people don’t count their change .Socialists expect gifts like children do at Christmas.Yet life is often far more magical and the sense of gratitude greater when we don’t expect.

      Those who try to capitalize on gift exchanges will find its appeal evaporates on the shelves in the moment the price tag is visible.Nothing is free.We always have to take a hard look at the real price before we decide.So never count on gifts because there is always a hidden price.

      • Socialism should not be built on altruism or fantasy. It’s more likely to succeed if it is built on necessity and real needs that can only be addressed through cooperation as a last resort.

      • Capitalism had its opportunity, and it was much more successful but not a solution for everybody. The rich tend to think they deserve to be rich and the rich deserve to be poor and they don’t want to give their money away to the poor. We have seen where that leads to. Rather than being political adversaries, it would probably be more productive if rich and poor could work together to solve genuine issues where economic injustices are the obstacles.

        • The quality of the Capitalism and the quality of the Socialism depend on how aware a specific people are of the different prices to be paid.It’s not about what we deserve or not…it is about how well we can make the system work for us.

          I think many in Venezuela see Socialism as a chance to obtain something for nothing, and Capitalism as a way to obtain something for less.No society can work with any system if they do understand the true price( meaning the sacrifices that have to be made for a working agreement).

          • Unfortunately, what people “think” tends to be an obstacle to solving problems, until necessity fathers solutions or fathers conflicts that solve nothing. That is the struggle. Obviously, abandoning strategies that don’t work would be helpful. Complaining about things is not going to do much unless it brings people together to combine their efforts toward a common purpose. I suppose that’s what I’m hoping for!

  4. The rich tend to think they deserve to be rich and the poor deserve to be poor and they don’t often feel any obligation to do anything about it. There are economists who believe that rich and poor are both burdens on socialist society, because both consume more than they produce. The poor can’t produce because they are too economically weak, and the rich because they don’t need to. We could argue about that.

  5. For Mr Crovatto to have been detained as long as he was on the basis of the alleged testimony of an anonymous informant is in itself a gross breach of the Rule of Law which is essential to any system which purports to respect the values of personal freedom . Its one more proof that we live in a primitive form of Tyranny such as was practiced by Caligula and Nero in ancient Rome with some light pseudo legal makeup to disguise the tyranical face and raw arbitrariness of the Regime .


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