Photo: Teletica retrieved.

Eyes wide open inside a bag. Hands tied. A burning pain in the chest. Around, the voices of executioners, the mockery, the screams… Plastic in the mouth, dry tongue. Heart pounding like crazy. The lights glimpsed through the plastic start to revolve: the noises seem to recede. A buzzing in the ears. And suddenly, nothing.

This dark fantasy, with who knows how many variations, fills the minds of Venezuelans after an opposition councilman, who wasn’t precisely famous for defiantly facing the regime, fell from the tenth floor of the Plaza Venezuela headquarters of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN), Nicolás Maduro’s fearsome repressive force.

Fernando Albán, a councilman elected for Libertador Municipality in Caracas and member of Primero Justicia (PJ), was detained on October 5, in Maiquetía airport, as he returned from New York, where he’d travelled to go to the United Nations as part of the team headed by his friend Julio Borges, head of PJ and former National Assembly Speaker. Once in the terminal, Albán was arrested by SEBIN officers and taken to an undisclosed location, but it was immediately assumed that he’d been thrown in a cell crowded by opposition leaders and where it’s said people are tortured all day long.

We only need to go back to the protests of 2014 and 2017, when repressive forces and paramilitary groups murdered and severely injured hundreds of citizens who protested in the streets.

These fears were fanned by the fact that the regime broke the law when Albán wasn’t presented before court within 48 hours of his arrest. That’s why PJ’s statement spoke of “enforced disappearance” and raised the alarms for ”the country and the international community about the possible cruel and inhuman treatments, as well as the psychological pressure Fernando Albán might have been subjected to, in an attempt to forge fake evidence against our organization.”

By October 8, still under SEBIN custody, in other words, the State, Fernando Albán was dead.

In the first hours after the fact, government spokesmen incurred in contradictions that didn’t precisely contribute to easing up tensions, much less dissipating the certainty that immediately took over across the country and abroad: Albán had been murdered and then thrown off a building to cloud the evidence of the ill treatment that his party had mentioned.

Is this chavismo’s first murder? No. Not at all. There’s a tall pile of files documenting all sorts of killings that can be traced back to Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro and many of the most prominent figures of the revolution. We only need to go back to the protests of 2014 and 2017, when repressive forces and paramilitary groups murdered and severely injured hundreds of citizens who protested in the streets. Not to mention the thousands who have died of malnutrition, lack of medical care or crime, figures that reveal a true humanitarian crisis.

Óscar Pérez and his team, for example, were massacred as the whole country watched in horror. But Albán, whose greatest threat was being a constitutionally elected councilman and a member of an opposition party (although he was arrested due to his alleged and frankly unlikely involvement in the frustrated “assassination attempt” against Maduro) is a different case entirely.

Several former political prisoners who were held in SEBIN facilities have said that none of this is possible, because detainees are watched by two officers who never leave them alone even to go to the bathroom.

Albán was kidnapped and his captors, to say the least, allowed him to break their security, run toward a “panoramic window” that was open in the tenth floor and jump to the void… So many inconsistencies in just a couple of lines. Several former political prisoners who were held in SEBIN facilities have said that none of this is possible, because detainees are watched by two officers who never leave them alone even to go to the bathroom. But also, journalists with a solid reputation, with sources within the regime’s and SEBIN’s own ranks, have revealed leaks according to which Albán was tortured to death with the ordeal of asphyxia.

In any case, the hours following the councilman’s violent death, Maduro gave two speeches where he didn’t even mention this incident which, according to observers from all over the world, has to be investigated. His silence wasn’t interpreted as an attempt to reduce the incident’s importance, but as a way to make some time while he decided what to do: whether to persist with the suicide narrative, offered in a rush by two of his spokesmen, or set distance from the crime and take the culprits to court.

The press conference offered by ANC-imposed Prosecutor General Tarek William Saab on Wednesday 10, shows that they decided to stick to the suicide tale… or perhaps it was imposed on Maduro, who will no longer be able to wriggle free from a crime condemned by the entire world.

“I know,” journalist Ewald Scharfenberg wrote on Twitter, “that some will say that the government’s been killing people for a long time. But Albán’s case represents an escalation: it’s the expression of the definitive autonomization of the clans intertwined between security bodies and organized crime.”

Scharfenberg refers to the theory according to which the different factions that cohabitate within chavismo have distributed among themselves the institutions that can provide profit or control. The clan SEBIN “belongs” to, exercising that autonomy, might have imposed Albán’s murder on Maduro in order to harm him even more. “The twilight of authoritarian regimes tends to be like that,” Scharfenberg added, “they split into personalistic gangs that seek to preserve their plots of power and their profits at all costs, through treason or horror.”

Fernando Albán is already in his tomb, but his soul will only rest in peace when the details of his death are brought to light and thus, complete his life’s purpose.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. This subject comes up all the time during conversations about professionalism. Its the concept of DUTY.

    When a person is under your care (whether kids on a school bus, a patient under your direct medical care/supervision or under your remand as a prisoner) you are responsible for their well being. You have a DUTY to provide for their safety.

    Regardless of whether Fernando Albán chucked himself out of a window or not, his captors (who held him illegally, among other crimes) were responsible for his safety. It is irrelevant whether he committed suicide or not. Chavismo was directly responsible. The only way they are NOT responsible is if he showed up at their door, snuck up to the 10th floor and threw himself off the top. (Even then, an ambulance chaser would make the claim that the unlocked, unguarded door was the proximate cause of his death!)

    No more of this second guessing. Fernando Albán’s death stains the hands of Chavismo.

  2. These fears were fanned by the fact that the regime broke the law when Albán wasn’t presented before court within 48 hours of his arrest.
    These days, isn’t Chavismo’s breaking the law more of a feature than a bug?

    • Exactly. The gloves are off, as far as I am concerned. (NB: I am not a Venezuelan, nor in Venezuela.)

      When an agent of the State stops a Venezuelan for any reason, henceforth, these agents are going to violate their human rights. By default, you have every means at your disposal (including lethal) to keep your rights inviolate.

      It’s “Game On” Venezuelans. You have seen with your own two eyes what the Chavists are willing to do, and the lengths they are willing to go to. They don’t give the least fuck about your human rights, let alone “legality”.

      See a colectivo? He doesn’t care about you, your family or your life. FUCK HIM. He will gladly FUCK YOU.

      Go over to Aporrea and see it written for you every day by people like Sant Roz and Gian Carlo Di Martino. You have no rights, as the Revolution is what is important. You are a counter-Revolutionary, and such people must be negated. FUCK THEM. They gladly would FUCK YOU.

  3. This is going to get much worse. To preserve power they are left but with the path of evil and this will consume them to their final destruction, evil is inherently unstable.

    I am HOPING that a next round of massive protests would dislodge these criminals (how could you not hope, the suffering is such!). It is time to test the determination of the military, again, to behave as Maduro’s occupying force. If you observe the pattern for the 2014 and 2017 protests, when the people perceived weakness they took the streets, and weakness they will show again, that too is human. But the people from El Valle, Catia and Petare will have to join, they must be pretty hungry now.

    • Nobody cares.The Saudis lured a US resident journalist to their embassy killed and dismembered him and the US still has his back.Forget the protests.The pueblo gave up and Venezuela is finished.

  4. “Fernando Albán, a councilman elected for Libertador Municipality in Caracas and member of Primero Justicia (PJ), was detained on October 5, in Maiquetía airport, as he returned from New York, where he’d travelled to go to the United Nations as part of the team headed by his friend Julio Borges,”

    How much do “councilmen” and “members of PJ” make per month? (Or per fiestecita con los panas)

    How many “minimum salaries” to pay for trips to New York? That’s a $5000 leisure visit to the big apple, (rest assured hotels and good restaurants were in the menu). Can anyone find me a job with “Primero Justicia” in Kleptozuela?

  5. Big freaking deal: Another politician was murdered by the pueblo-people savages with guns.

    How many are murdered every WEEKEND just in Caracas? 300 people? 200?

    Why should we care so much about this dubious freaking politician? He just enjoyed a nice trip to New York, can you say the same about the dozens of people murdered by the regime every week?

    MEDIA CRAP, as always,

    What did this Alban dude to fight the Dictatorship? Did he fly a helicopter, like Oscar? Now that guy deserved recognition. Did he organize a drone coup against Nicolasno? What the hell did he do, except talk crap with Chavistas about politics?

    Cry me a river about that guy. While there are hundreds of starving children trying to cross the borders. Wht did he do about that when he was having dinner in New York?

  6. What no one talks about, of course, are the important things.

    Another example: How does the Criminal Narco-Kleptocracy maintain itself in power, decade after decade, amid a fierce economic and humanitarian crisis? Despite the constant International condemnation?

    Too much work for CC writers to stick a fork on that? A couple of clues to get you started:

    1/ Massive BRIBING of the entire ‘armed forces’. From the 2000 ‘generals’ down the the tens of thousands of lieutenants, sargentos and troops. Intimidation, threats. And more bribe$$$$.

    2/ High complicity of MILLIONS of average pueblo-people at a levels, in every town. Millions on the Maduro filthy payroll, and then some. A country of thieves. A true KLEPTOCRACY, not “chavismo”, no. KLEPTOCRACY everywhere. Capitalistic Thieves in every pueblo and city.

    3/ More bribes, more complicity, more thieves.

    4/ Massive ignorance, galactic lack of education, zero moral values. Which leads to crime and corruption.

    Other ideas?

  7. Poceta de Cshit.. why do you bother coming here to spread your vile, stinking trash? You revel in the death of a local politician who tried to make a difference against the dictatorship, to help the very children you posit need help? You must be one miserable human being, but I feel more sorry for you wife and family.

    But I’ll give you credit for not writing kleptocubazuela, indian, etc in this single post.

  8. Much like Caracas and the remains of KLEPTOzuela, Caracas Chronicles went down the drain.

    The salaries for these bogus writers must be in old bolivars. Presumably, Quico and Emiliana are making plenty of US$ in El Imperio, perhaps even sending a few remesas back. On second thought, their entire families are probably gone too, as anyone with a brain or the possibilities left long ago. Never to return.

    Who gives a flying fuck about Haitizuela anymore? Now that should be the next pathetic topic here.

  9. They wanted to make it look like a suicide, but not that much. If this murder is different from many others the regime has committed, that difference may be its more stylized nature. Maybe they see themselves as aspiring murder artists like their backer Putin. It is not enough to kill someone, but there is also the infliction of suffering and death in an absurd and improbable manner that delights the murderer.

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