Photo: Diario Las Américas

Guilty, Just Because

The preliminary hearing of the civilians who were arbitrarily detained amid the armed conflict in Apure, between the FANB and irregular armed groups from Colombia, took place on Monday. They were taken to military courts and FundaRedes spoke of different types of coercion against the 16 citizens.

  • Javier Tarazona, director of NGO FundaRedes, said that the preliminary hearing of the civilians who were arbitrarily detained on March 21st amid the armed conflict in Apure, between the FANB and irregular armed groups from Colombia, took place on Monday. 
    • They were taken to military courts, which is in violation of their rights. FundaRedes spoke of different types of coercion against the 16 citizens. They were taken before this military court to back “the false positives conjured by the Venezuelan State”. 
    • One of the ways they were pressured, was pleading guilty of one of the four crimes they’re accused of, stealing military artifacts, “in order to obtain conditional freedom with precautionary measures”. 
    • They were also threatened with being taken to trial if they didn’t do what they suggested and were overwhelmed with the threat that if they didn’t do as required they’d go to trial “for months or even years,” added FundaRedes.
    • Last night, this NGO said that out of 16 citizens who were arrested, 14 remained behind bars “after not admitting to the crimes as the public prosecutor wanted, so they’re going to trial.” 
    • They only released Elvis Guerrero, who has a disability and Mario Pereira who’s over 65 years old. On Tuesday, 12 other citizens from Apure will have their hearings before that same court.
    • FundaRedes also condemned that there are over 500 illegal pathways or trochas that are used to finance FARC and ELN dissidents because those pathways generate millions of dollars. 
  • The president of the Venezuelan Medicine Federation Douglas León Natera said that Maduro’s regime’s vaccination plan “is manipulated from Miraflores (…) It’s a disaster, it’s a calamity,” he said and reiterated that the federation demands a true policy and an effective vaccination plan. 

  • There was a protest in Falcón to demand an investigation on the case of 32 missing passengers and three crew members on a boat to Curacao that never made it, three years ago. At least 150 people have disappeared at sea since 2019 and the fact that all cases are similar only raises suspicion on the possibility that it’s a human trafficking network taking advantage of Venezuelan migrants and refugees. 
  • Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of  Neomar Lander’s murder, when he was protesting in Chacao. 
  • “The biggest damage we can do to the negotiation is insisting on it being secret and out of Venezuela,” said the deputy to Maduro’s AN, Luis Eduardo Martínez. 
  • El Callao mayor Alberto Hurtado rejected being signaled as the intellectual author of the double femicide of Dorialcely Tocuyo and Martha Aristizábal. He asked for a thorough investigation and assured he was willing to cooperate in the process. “I’m not a murderer,” he said before he added that people want to ruin his image in a town marked by illegal mining. 
  • Neighbors of La Vega, Caracas, reported another shooting between criminals and security forces. 
  • Thousands of Venezuelan refugees in Trinidad are requesting help to get back home because they lost their jobs after the pandemic. NGO La Casita de Arima said that the number of Venezuelans wanting to go back home increases, they estimate around 8,000 people. 
  • The Inter-American Development Bank and the UNHCR evaluated the situation of Venezuelan migrants in the region and explored how to change their challenges into development opportunities for the region. In May, the UN said that there were 5,643,665 Venezuelan migrants. 
  • The U.S. Supreme Court said that Venezuelans who entered the country illegally don’t qualify for TPS benefits like permanent residency. 
  • U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Juan González said that if it’s true that Iranian warship is coming to Venezuela, the regime would be “destabilizing the region even further.” He added that buying weapons doesn’t “put food on Venezuelans’ table.” He considers that the U.S.’ main goal for Venezuela is creating a democratic system. 

 

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.