The SEBIN commission showed up in the dead of night barking something about a “medical visit”. As a bleary eyed Daniel Ceballos was trundled into an ambulance, he must have realized this was no such thing. Only once inside did they produce the paperwork and the explanation: Ceballos was going to jail, in the same 26 de Julio jail that is now home to Pancho Márquez and Gabo San Miguel.

For the last year, Ceballos, the one time VP mayor of San Cristobal, had been under house arrest. For a year and a half before that, he had been imprisoned at Ramo Verde, facing an absurd trial on absurd charges of civil rebellion following the protests in his city in February and march 2014.

What’s worrying is the sense that the wing of the government that’s 100% ok with its status as an international pariah now seems entirely in control of policy. Days ahead of September 1st protests, with OAS and Mercosur actively considering international sanctions over the breakdown in constitutional rule, the government doubles down on openly dictatorial decisions: Cuban style shit that actively sabotages any chance of detente.

 

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