Venezuelan Spotlight

"They knew!" Ana Vanessa Herrero uncovers a chilling story involving the chavista justice system and the Church

  • The Washington Post published an investigation on how several priests accused of sexual abuse in Venezuela went back to work, despite being charged by courts. Journalist Ana Vanessa Herrero worked on the case of Luis Alberto Mosquera, who was sentenced to over seven years of prison for sexually abusing a child. Mosquera’s lawyers feared for his safety, so they got him parole and he’s back at work, in a church in Lara. Herrero reviewed ten cases in the last two years, and interviewed Catholic leaders, police officers, and victims. She found priests charged with sexual abuse who had been released before serving their sentences or didn’t go to prison at all, in half of the cases. In at least three of the cases, priests were allowed back into service. There’s a pattern of collusion between a corrupt justice system and the Church to protect perpetrators instead of victims, and the only thing the victims had in common, in the cases that she reviewed, was that the victims came from poor and vulnerable communities. 
  • The president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation (FMV), Douglas León Natera, denounced that over 40 doctors have been arrested in the last ten days, in states like Zulia, Monagas, Sucre, Aragua, Lara, and Apure. León Natera said these events started in April, when Nicolás declared war against “hospital mafias” and added sending secret inspectors to hunt workers that, according to him, steal medicine and supplies. The FMV delivered a message where they denounced the precarious situation of hospitals, which present a deficit of over 90% in supplies. The FMV demanded respect and the end of the criminalization of healthcare personnel. 
  • The Venezuelan Central Bank sold 120 million dollars to limit the increase of the exchange rate set by the BCV, and impact the price of the dollar in the black market. It’s the 25th sale of this kind by the BCV in 2022, which has already injected 2.1 billion dollars into the banking system with its costly policy of currency intervention. It’s more than twice the amount of the gold retained in England. 
  • Sorbay Padilla, wife of Colonel Oswaldo García Palomo, a political prisoner in DGCIM, hasn’t had contact with him since June 16th, because officers said he’s been “punished.” Padilla demands proof of life. 
  • The president of CONINDUSTRIA’s commission for labor affairs, Maryolga Girán requested public policies that incentivize production and allow for increasing salaries. She reiterated that the ILO must be the mediator in agreements and labor law topics. 
  • Two inmates, 22 and 60 years old, allegedly died of tuberculosis, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons. 

Overcrowding rates in prisons is 156%, explained NGO Una Ventana a la Libertad: by the end of May, there were 16,778 inmates for a 10,718  prisoner capacity. 

There were at least 14,711 electricity outages in May, meaning one every three minutes, said the Committee of Citizens Victims of Blackouts. It’s a 32% increase compared to April, for a total of 39,272 in the first five months of the year. 

Sociologist Edison Arciniega warned that out of the 14 million people that could lose access to food according to the UN, four million could be in Venezuela. He said he hopes that the new measures of control of basic sectors won’t impact the market , because in addition to the global food crisis, Venezuela has seven other crises to worry about, like fertilizer, phosphates, containers, fuel, climate change, credit and production crises, since Venezuela imports two thirds of all goods and products. 

After Israel, Paraguay and the FBI assured that Gholamreza Ghasemi, the Iranian pilot of the Boeing 747 property of Emtrasur, was part of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Argentinian justice system is considering charging him. If the ties between Ghasemi and Quds Force can be proven, he’ll undergo a trial. 

Lithuania implemented a partial blockade of merchandise arriving from Moscow, in order to comply with EU sanctions. Russia threatened to retaliate against what they consider an “openly hostile” move. Hungarian president Viktor Orban, Putin’s closest ally in the EU, promised President Volodymyr Zelenskyy he’d support Ukraine’s EU membership application. The U.S. announced the creation of a Council for War Crimes Accountability.

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.