Photo: Nicolás Maduro
This Tuesday, the National Assembly agreed to ask the United Nations Human Rights Council to create an impartial and international commission to investigate the complaints of torture and the death of corvette captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo. They also demanded Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the application of the Istambul Protocol to investigate reports of torture as a systematic pattern in Venezuela; they also asked their appointed officials to confirm the holding conditions and health status of detainees; a task that they also demand from the International Red Cross. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó approved a decree to promote Acosta Arévalo to Frigate Captain, after he died under custody of Military Counterintelligence Directorate agents (DGCIM). “This is a murderous dictatorship,” said Guaidó. Lastly, Parliament requested an “in loco” visit from the Inter American Commission of Human Rights.
— Efecto Cocuyo (@EfectoCocuyo) July 2, 2019
Acosta Arévalo’s autopsy
The autopsy done on Acosta Arévalo’s body revealed that he suffered various polytraumas that damaged the kidneys, causing respiratory problems that ended up in a brain edema that killed him. According to the document revealed by journalist Eligio Rojas, the cause of death was: “severe brain edema due to acute respiratory failure, due to lung thromboembolism, caused by rhabdomyolysis for general polytrauma.”
Documento: La necropsia de ley practicada al cadáver del capitán de corbeta Rafael Acosta Arévalo, determinó como causa de muerte "edema cerebral severo debido a insuficiencia respiratoria aguda, debido a rabdomiolisis por politraumatismo generalizado" pic.twitter.com/EQI6zq3qs1
— Eligio Rojas (@ELESPINITO) July 2, 2019
Alonso Medina Roa, Acosta Arévalo’s lawyer, said yesterday that the captain’s body remains in the Bello Monte Morgue and that Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t handed it over despite the insistence of his relatives. The lawyer said that they’ll take the case to international instances to act against the Venezuelan State for failing to guarantee Arévalo’s safety; he also condemned the fact that the Prosecutor’s Office didn’t include the crime of torture in the indictments, adding that he’ll carry out judicial actions against the officers involved in the tortures and that he’ll also ask an investigation on the DGCIM’s chain of command.
The case of Rufo Chacón
A teenager lost his eyesight due to the Táchira Police’s disproportionate use of force, which constitutes torture; however, the head of the institution, Jesús Arteaga, offered a press conference and treated it as an “isolated event” and that the security body is able and trained in matters of public order: “We never committed human rights abuses, we guarantee human rights,” he said.
En el caso Acosta Arévalo, la justicia exige: debido proceso y determinación de responsabilidades por los delitos de tortura y homicidio calificado . Así de sencillo !
— Alberto Arteaga (@ArteagaSanchez) July 2, 2019
ANC-imposed Prosecutor General Tarek William Saab announced the arrest of officers Javier Useche Blanco and Henry Ramírez Hernández (with 23 and 26 years of service, respectively); that they’ll launch an “exhaustive” investigation of this aggression, and that the policemen “will be severely punished.” Dr. Luis Ramírez, had of Táchira State’s Health Corporation, said that Rufo was shot with 50 pellets in the face and had to undergo surgery to get a prosthetic to balance the disfigurement they caused him. Rufo’s mom, Adriana Parada, demanded justice, saying that human rights aren’t respected in Venezuela and that “we live in dictatorship.”
VPItv – TVVnoticias pic.twitter.com/pQNZsCbLCF
— susana raffalli a (@susanaraffalli) July 2, 2019
- Disconnected from reality, Nicolás followed the script of his TV show, focusing on the Venezuela Bella mission, a program to embellish a country without electricity, cooking gas or water: “We have free citizens, a democratic society, with problems that are faced with the truth,” was what he said out of the script where painting walls is a priority; adding that “the negotiations in Norway are going well.”
- His Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, offered a balance of his tour through Europe, claiming that Cuba and Turkey will assist Venezuelan patients waiting for transplants; thanking the Italian government for covering the expenses of patients living there, saying that they’re coordinating with that government to bring treatments.
- Arreaza also said that he met with the director of FAO, to deepen the relation; with Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, and with the secretary for Relations with the Vatican State, both supporters of dialogue. He announced that they expect to receive the visit of special European Union representative Enrique Iglesias next week.
Canciller Arreaza: Debemos profundizar aún más nuestra relación con la FAO. Denunciamos que los recursos para la siembra en Venezuela se quedaron secuestrados en el Banco portugués Novo Banco. El bloqueo criminal de EE.UU. afecta el derecho a la alimentación de los venezolanos. pic.twitter.com/q77MB94ZDj
— Cancillería Venezuela 🇻🇪 (@CancilleriaVE) July 2, 2019
- OPEC oil ministers agreed to extend oil production cuts to March 2020. Regime minister Manuel Quevedo merely uploaded pictures of the end of the 6th ministerial meeting.
Venezuela's #oil exports bounced in June to 1.1 million bpd versus a very bad month on May. Purchases by #Chinese firms CNPC, PetroChina and Unipec have made the difference in recent months, showing a consistent increase. Exports to #India declined again https://t.co/lEgHiOT8KB
— Marianna Párraga (@mariannaparraga) July 2, 2019
- The ANC presented a draft bill to create the tax on large patrimonies (of over 250,000 euros,) wish it would include them!
We, the migrants
The Chilean government believes that 300,000 Venezuelans could arrive to the country between this year and the next, which would double the number of migrants. Chilean Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick said before the Senate’s Human Rights Committee that the entry must happen orderly, in accordance with the law.
— Agence France-Presse (@AFPespanol) July 2, 2019
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Institute asked the government to guarantee the right to request visas and the refugee condition, flexibilizing the requirements according to the political and humanitarian circumstances in Venezuela: “We could observe the lack of humanitarian attention and also the human rights violations, especially in the rejection of refugee status requests by the Investigations Police at the border,” said their statement. And indeed, the Chilean Jesuit Service for Migrants said yesterday that “the crisis of Venezuelans [at the northern border] is intensifying.”
#Chile En graves condiciones siguen cientos de venezolanos en puntos fronterizos de Chile. Aunque la Subsecretaría del Interior dijo que “ya no existen venezolanos en Chacalluta ni en Pisiga” el problema empeora, según director del Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes, José Tomás Vicuña. https://t.co/Bur1ghx7e9
— Ariadna García (@Ariadnalimon) July 2, 2019
Movements on the board
U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo promised Guaidó his unflinching support on a phone call, according to his spokeswoman. Jimmy Story, U.S. chargé d’affaires in Venezuela, said to journalists: “Were those two DGCIM members the ones who made the decision [or torturing Acosta Arévalo]? I highly doubt it,” he said, adding that: “Everyone in the chain of command is responsible for what happened.” Yesterday, John Bolton also restated U.S. support for Guaidó and Parliament.
The United States continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the region. We stand with Interim President Juan Guaido and the democratically-elected National Assembly as they seek to rid Venezuela of Maduro’s repression and pursue free and fair elections. https://t.co/F4zCeMAYGu
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) July 2, 2019
Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell spoke with Mario Isea, regime ambassador in Madrid, to tell him that Spain condemns the death of captain Acosta Arevalo, and to urge the authorities to open an independent investigation. Yesterday, we learned that Borrell will succeed Federica Mogherini as the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs. That’s terrible.
Torture and repression are a systematic pattern of the Venezuelan State, so important for holding on to power, that while Nicolás fakes the normality that we don’t have, his propaganda system is trying hard to persuade others that the torture that killed captain Acosta Arévalo and blinded Rufo Chacón came from isolated decisions of officers and doesn’t involve the chain of command. The patterns are documented. Crimes against humanity don’t prescribe.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.