Denied Burial

Your daily briefing for Sunday, January 21st, 2018.

Photo: Efecto Cocuyo

The government added more cruelty to the case of Óscar Pérez and his comrades so the “exemplary punishment” surpasses the disproportion of bullets and includes the humiliation and pain of their mourners. Sans burial there’s no certainty, there’s no way to start the mourning, a torment for their familias and the country. Very early and without the families’ permission, the bodies of Abraham Agostini and José Alejandro Díaz Pimentel were transported from the Bello Monte morgue to the 28th Parcel of the Cementerio del Este. Sans allowing prayers or rituals they buried them in the company of few family members, some of them even had to fight the GN to be able to attend the burial. Many hours went by before all the people that went to the cemetery was able to approach the graves. It was particularly moving to see the circumstance of Díaz Pimentel’s children, they are orphans now; their mother passed away three years ago because she couldn’t find medicine for a kidney condition and today the government buried their parents in their absence.  

Jairo, Abraham and Daniel

In the afternoon, the bodies of Jairo and Abraham Lugo Ramos and Daniel Soto Torres, arrived in Maracaibo to be buried in La Chinita Cemetery. The military repeated the same protocol, limiting the access to the burial and wouldn’t allow rituals. Only when they were buried, the people who attended could join the families and pay respect to the dead. The testimony of the Lugo Ramos brothers’ father about the abuses his whole family has endured is really terrible.

Lisbeth Andreína

Today, on the day of San Sebastian, patron saint of San Cristóbal, Lisbeth Ramírez’ family had to split up in two groups and wait for nine hours for the arrival of her urn. No authority was decent enough to say where she’d be buried, so a group went to La Consolación (Caneyes) cemetery and other group went to El Metropolitano. To make it even more confusing, there were officials from the Guardia Nacional in both cemeteries. It was after 8:00 p.m. when they knew the urn went to La Consolación, isn’t it ironic. They wouldn’t allow a wake or service either.  

Óscar Pérez

It appears that the only body remaining in the Bello Monte morgue is Óscar Pérez’, another side of the exemplary punishment, but don’t forget that everyone has feared from the start that they cremate his body without an authorization. Meanwhile, in  Francisco de Miranda Av. there was a protest against his murder. In the afternoon, dozens of people came close to the GN picket line to demand that his body is released to the family. Some protesters attacked the GN with rocks and a couple of vehicles tried to trespass the picket line. The GN answered by throwing tear gas and bird shots, no injuries are reported. Óscar Pérez’ family has been waiting for over 12 hours at the morgue.

Human Rights Class

I celebrate Cofavic’s director actions, Liliana Ortega, and those of the organization, because they used their social media to explain why and how, moral judgement aside, in Pérez’ case the human rights of the victims and their families have been violated. Ortega warned that “according to international law, if in an alleged massacre where extrajudicial executions and torture occured, the evidence is destroyed everything ceases to be alleged.” She then explained the value of evidence, the right to bury the dead according to their religious beliefs and in the place they had chosen, and make clear that in the crimes of torture and extrajudicial executions “the responsibility not only lies with the people who commit the crime, also with those who cover up and prevent justice and the establishing of the truth.” After five days of the massacre, the imposed Attorney General and the Ombudsman haven’t said a word.   

Another Serious Violation

The president of Fedenaga, Carlos Albornoz, denounced that Barinas Governor  Argenis Chávez Frías, ratified a 2016 resolution from the Misión Abastecimiento Soberano, that regulates the mechanisms, terms and conditions for sales of all the state’s companies, reserving 50% of the entire production in the state for the regional Executive to be distributed by Clap. Albornoz qualifies it as an unconstitutional decree and explains that Barinas is the first meet producer, the third in corn and rice, fourth in cheese and sixth in milk, so this order harms all productive companies as well as the national consumption.  

Other Latitudes

– Julia Van Den Brule, former chief of Iberic Pdvsa hid $3 million in the Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA), opened her account on March 4, 2008, when she still ran the Venezuelan oil company in Spain. That same day, the Pdvsa Caracas supervisor back then, Ingrid Sánchez González, became a client with $5.000.000. Both women worked and had responsibilities under Rafael Ramírez’ presidency.  

– Venezuela assumed today the alternate presidency in Opep, informed Minister Manuel Quevedo from Oman. United Arab Emirates holds the official presidency and Nigeria is Secretary General.

– OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, said that the case of Óscar Pérez and his partners will be denounced to the ICC. He also said that “no dictatorship can be validated from any mechanism of dialogue, that can’t happen in this continent,” and that “no election that comes from this dictatorship, under these conditions, will bring a political change for the Venezuelan people, nor will it provide solutions.”

– After much delay, Dominican Chancellor Miguel Vargas rejected the statement by Minister Néstor Reverol regarding where the information of Óscar Pérez whereabouts came from, saying it certainly didn’t come from the Dominican Republic

“Velar al difunto. Velar el adiós.

Mínimo retazo de certeza para la eternidad.”

Jacqueline Goldberg

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.