Photo: La Voz de Galicia

Crimes by State Security Forces Go Up Year After Year

Such are the results backed by horrifying figures in Provea’s 2019 report; We've surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 cases and the state incites the people to "betray" potential patients

  • Provea, the Venezuelan Program for Human Rights Education and Action (Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos), presented on Tuesday their 2019 report, where they point out the authoritarian advance and the social crisis, and they prove that in addition to the complex humanitarian emergency and poverty, there’s political persecution, repression and torture. The figures Provea provided prove that Venezuela has the worst human rights indicators since 1989. Some of them are:  ⁕ 23 people were tortured to death by Nicolás’s state security forces and there were 574 victims of torture, a 526% increase compared to 2018. In the last six years, 1,170 have been victims of torture, while 895 cases of torture were registered between 1988 and 2012. Nicolás’s regime has a terrible record of victims; ⁕ Between January and May 2020, 1,324 people died from public force intervention: In Venezuela, 1 out of 3 murders are caused by state security forces. Between 2010 and 2018, 23,688 people have died at the hands of security forces; ⁕ In 2019, 1,033 people were injured in protests, an increase of 1,359% compared to the previous year, the third highest figure of Nicolás’s regime.
  • Nicolás said that we have 303 new cases of COVID-19, with which we’ve surpassed 10,000 cases. It’s more than 1,000 cases in three days again. Chavismo hasn’t expanded the capacity to run PCR tests only for the sake of controlling information and that’s why—running 600 tests at the most every day—the Rafael Rangel National Hygiene Institute is still the only health center to diagnose coronavirus in Venezuela. Nicolás confirmed radical quarantine in the Capital District and Miranda, reported three deaths and announced that on Friday, a plane from Turkey would be arriving with vents, PCR test kits, and biosafety gear. The PAHO announced that it distributed over 20 tonnes of personal protection gear in 31 Venezuelan hospitals and other health centers. Receiving hospitals are in the states with the most cases: Zulia, Apure, Bolívar, Distrito Capital, Miranda and Táchira. 
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet updated on Tuesday her report about the situation in Venezuela and among other relevant information, she said that the Judicial Branch isn’t independent. She emphasized that, in political cases, “the judges wait for instructions from TSJ judges before they make a ruling, for fear of being fired or other measures in retaliation.” 
  • Nicolás repeated yesterday that Colombian president Iván Duque, would have a plan “to infect Venezuelans through trocheros,” people who guide returning migrants through illegal passageways on the border. He also attacked returnees: “It’s outrageous that there are people who don’t value their own country and come from abroad to contaminate us,” he said, as evidence of his “open arms” to welcome them home. A piece by El País explains everything that returnees face when they manage to cross the border. Nicolás also supported the military initiative on Twitter, encouraging everyone to denounce a returning migrant. “It says here: denounce ‘trocheros’. A trochero is a bioterrorist… I don’t say that, it says so here,” he said when he read the tweets posted by @Ceofanb. He ended by attacking journalists from international agencies, whom he accused of being “mercenaries”, called their work “rumors and campaigns” and said that they “silence” what happens in countries that oppose his regime. 
  • Yesterday, the National Assembly approved in the second debate the Law of Protocol of the Convention against Torture and Other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 
  • Deputy Renzo Prieto’s father spoke at the AN session yesterday, to express his concern for his son’s situation, explaining an injury in his spine that needs urgent surgery. He called for his release. 
  • Espacio Público reported that the 21st Court of Caracas, which ordered detaining  Nicmer Evans, “will be on call in one or two weeks. That’s when he could be brought to court.” 
  • Oil production dropped in June to its lowest in almost eight decades: 393,000 bpd. Venezuela dropped to being the sixth oil producer in Latin America, behind Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador. The next country to surpass Venezuela will be Guyana. 
  • Deputy Julio Ygarza denounced yesterday that the AN board of authorities Nicolás imposed, led by sanctioned individual Luis Parra, is violating the rights of parliamentary workers, forcing some of them to retire, and not honoring lawful commitments. 
  • Journalists from several outlets were threatened by train workers in Carabobo, who demanded they delete the footage of the unfinished construction, and threatened them with violence. There was an earlier attack by the representative of the communal council. The National Press Syndicate demanded an investigation to determine who chased them in a way that could have caused a traffic accident in the Autopista Regional del Centro (ARC).
  • Too bad Nicolás didn’t explain the terrible situation in El Valle and Coche (Caracas), parishes that have been blocked with concrete and plastic barriers. Around 150,000 people will be “prisoners” and without information because their area is considered a coronavirus epicenter. 
  • The Cape Verdean Executive Branch supported the extradition of Colombian citizen Álex Saab, accused of being Nicolás’s middleman, even though the final decision will be made by a court, said his lawyer José Manuel Pinto Monteiro. The extradition was supported based on the judicial opinion of the Attorney General. The defense has until Thursday to file against the government’s decision. Deputy Julio Borges criticized former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón being hired as Saab’s lawyer, he denounced that there’s a corruption and organized crime scheme behind this action. He reminded everyone that Garzón defended Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal’s cause and highlighted that Saab’s defense will be paid for by Venezuelans’ money. He assured that former Spanish José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero put Garzón in touch with Saab.
  • It’s terrible that the Armed Forces’ message ordering to “betray” citizens has spread in neighborhood group chats. It’s serious that Nicolás approved the call to denounce neighbors who are suspected of being infected because he thinks of them as “bioterrorists”, a fascist invention. An infected person is a patient, not a criminal and they must be treated as patients. Playing with citizens’ fear opens another dark hole in chavismo: anonymous tips might come from personal revenge and not a healthcare agenda. It already happened with complaints about “cooperating patriots” that cost innocent people’s freedom. No person with mild symptoms will be safer in a concentration camp at the border, or a CDI, or a hospital without supplies.

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.