The Twenty

The TSJ went from 32 to 20 justices. We've got the list of the "new" judges and links to more information on each of them

One month after the legal deadline, Maduro’s National Assembly appointed the “new” justices to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), their substitutes and the court’s chief inspector. Out of 20 justices in the new composition of the TSJ, 12 of them (60 %) are keeping the seats for this new period, a majority in the Constitutional, Criminal, Political and Electoral chambers. In addition, five of these justices were part of the “express TSJ” appointed in 2015, an expedited process intended to block the opposition-controlled National Assembly elected that year from getting new justices into the TSJ (and a big part of their political crisis that came after). PSUV deputy Gladys Requena was appointed as the new chief inspector of the courts, she was part of the judicial nominations commission evaluating candidates and wasn’t even nominated for this position but for TSJ justice, which is another irregularity in this process. 

The TSJ went from 32 to 20 justices. Here’s the list of the 20, with links to their profiles and a little bit about their backgrounds:

Constitutional Chamber

  • Gladys Gutiérrez (repeating justice, former president of the TSJ, former director of the CNE, and regime representative before the ICCl).
  • Lourdes Suárez Anderson (repeating justice, sister of murdered prosecutor Danilo Anderson).
  • Luis Fernando Damiani Bustillos (repeating justice)
  • Calixto Ortega Ríos (repeating justice)
  • Tania D’ Amelio (director of the CNE since 2008 and ratified in May 2021, former PSUV deputy before the AN)

Political Chamber

  • Malaquías Gil Rodríguez (repeating justice, formerly in the Electoral Chamber)
  • Bárbara César Cierro (repeating justice)
  • Juan Carlos Hidalgo Pandares (former military prosecutor)

Electoral Chamber

  • Caryslia Rodríguez Rodríguez (former Caretaker-Mayor of Caracas, expresident of the Municipal Council of Caracas)
  • Fanny Márquez Cordero (repeating justice)
  • Inocencio Figueroa Arizaleta (repeating justice, formerly in the Political Chamber)

Civil Chamber

  • Carmen Heredia Álvarez (repeating justice)
  • Henry Timaure Tapia (former president of the Court Martial and the Military Criminal, he had been deposed by Maduro in 2017)
  • José Luis Gutiérrez Parra (former director of the CNE, brother of Bernabé Gutiérrez—who leads the Acción Democrática parallel party snatched by the TSJ—, and sanctioned by the US)

Criminal Chamber

  • Elsa Gómez Moreno (repeating justice)
  • Maikel Moreno Pérez (repeating justice, former president of the TSJ)
  • Carmen Castro Gilly (former National Public Defender)

Social Chamber

  • Edgar Gavidia Rodríguez (repeating justice, Cilia Flores’s brother in law)
  • Carlos Alexis Castillo (former human resources director of the Foreign Ministry)
  • Elías Bittar Escalona (former RCTV in house counsel)

The Daily Briefing

  • Jorge Roig, a member of the administrative council of the International Labor Organization (ILO) said that the Consejo Nacional Tripartito installation is an important step for the sector and that its success is tied to “early victories” to prove to the country and the ILO that negotiations work. Among the early victories, he mentioned evidence of being negotiating with an autocratic regime (release of political prisoners, land being returned to its owners, and debate on salaries). 
  • Retirees and pensioners from several states protested to demand for compliance with Article 91 of the Constitution: the right to wages that are enough for dignified lives. The group keeps demanding that salaries and pensions are at least the amount of the basic food basket. The Delegate Commission debated on the violation of workers’ rights and warned that 75% of public workers are living in extreme poverty and that over 100 union leaders are in prison for political reasons. 
  • On Tuesday, April 26th, it was the fifth anniversary of the murder of UNIMET student Juan Pablo Pernalete, who was killed in a protest when a tear gas canister was shot right into his chest by the GNB in Altamira. Juan Pablo’s parents said that the Venezuelan State has denied their right to justice: those responsible for the crimes of 2017 haven’t been investigated or charged. 

Learn more: The Pernalete Family: Life Without Juan Pablo

  • The National Guild of Press Workers denounced that photographers Dexcy Guédez and Ana Carolina Arias were harassed while they covered the pensioners and workers’ protest in Nueva Esparta. 
  • The Bolivarian Indigenous Federation of Amazonas rejected “all cases of violations of rights that the Indigenous peoples of Amazonas are going through” and asked the regime to speed up the investigations. 
  • The executive director of Médicos Unidos de Venezuela Jaime Lorenzo said that the regime wants to blame healthcare personnel for the failings of the State and that the mafia figure was created to release the State from its responsibility of maintaining and supplying public hospitals. 
  • Lorenzo also denounced the privatization of public health. Patients have to find and pay for most of the supplies to get treated in public hospitals. He asked citizens to raise their voice against it. 

Luis Francisco Cabezas, director of CONVITE, reported that only 2% of senior citizens have access to private healthcare and that most of them live in extreme poverty, with pensions of under $30 dollars. 

  • Governor Manuel Rosales declared an emergency on the southern lake region: over 1000 families have been affected by the floods caused by heavy rains. The Capital District, Miranda, Vargas, Carabobo, Falcón, Lara, Mérida and Portuguesa are also going through considerable problems. 
  • The Mexican National Institute reported that between April 21st and 24th, 5,688 migrants from over 40 countries were arrested: 395 are Venezuelan. 
  • UN Secretary General António Guterres met in Moscow with Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov. Before their meeting, Guterres said that Russia’s action were a violation of Ukranian sovereignty. After the meeting, he announced that he proposed the creation of a humanitarian contact group to guarantee working humanitarian corridors. 
  • The UN General Assembly approved a proposal to reduce the use of veto powers in the Security Council. Putin admitted that the situation in Mariupol is catastrophic and was bold enough to say he hoped that the new negotiations could stop the conflict. 
  • The UN estimates there will be 8.3 million refugees in this war. The UNHCR estimates there’s been 5,264,666 refugees already. 

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.