On December 12th, a group of deputies in exile persecuted by the Venezuelan narco-dictatorship held a press conference in Madrid, Spain, to promote the struggle and the defense of human rights where repeated violations and crimes against humanity such as “La Masacre del Junquito” are committed daily.
This delegation, made up by deputies Franco Casella, Ramón López, Wilmer Azuaje and Óscar Pérez’s brother, Luis Velásquez López, was accompanied by representatives of human rights NGOs in Spain and some of the live forces of the Venezuelan democratic unit, such as the secretaries of Voluntad Popular, Acción Democrática and La Causa R.
In the meeting Franco Casella, President of the Human Rights Sub-Commission of the National Assembly of Venezuela, expressed the reason why the images of the Junquito Massacre were presented to the public opinion: “If the images of the Holocaust had not been shown, there would have been no sensitivity or reflection so that this type of atrocity would not be repeated. The culprit, the criminal, always tries to prevent the images from being seen, the murderer seeks to make both the images and the victims be forgotten. We say Forbid Forgetfulness. No impunity! The crimes against humanity do not prescribe. We know that these types of images stir the feelings of family members, but we human rights defenders are also hurt by these crimes and we are faced with a very tough situation, when we have to denounce and show the atrocities, but if we do not denounce them, we will not achieve the objective. Oscar Pérez himself, minutes before offering his life transmitted live, not out of celebrity but out of reflection, and that is what we are doing here today.
About Óscar Pérez and the group of young people executed, the Venezuelan parliamentarian stated: “those men and women trained to enable and operate the weapons of the Republic legally, decided not to do so even if their lives were at imminent risk and that is a powerful message which the entire population has not understood, he who is trained to use force scientifically and does not and gives a message, is the greatest sign of non-violence and conviction. This is what this is all about. We don’t make these denunciations looking for followers, we do it to make visible the bloody events that occur in Venezuela so that it is understood that this is not a problem of the right or of the left but of Human Rights.”
“Men and women who had surrendered were savagely shot down by a dictatorship, a dictatorship that continues to systematically murder the people of Venezuela and there is no one so far to stop them if we don’t continue to denounce,” he added.
Congressman and former political prisoner Wilmer Azuaje said: “This evidence is an integral part of the files that we are submitting this week, first in the International Criminal Court and then before the UN headquarters in Geneva, this is a procedural drive, this is evidence that we add to a file that had already submitted the deputy Delsa Solórzano and Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz. United nothing will be impossible.”
Azuaje assumed full responsibility for the dissemination of photos and videos, “this evidence was given to me by a brave detective in Colombia. We have consigned this evidence to the OAS, the International Criminal Court and the UN.”
He also pointed out that when they handed over the evidence, they were able to demonstrate that they were murdered after surrendering and that the Rome statute was not complied with, which establishes that if a person surrenders, they have the right to life, a right that was violated by the security forces of Maduro’s regime. In the photographs it is evidenced by the shape and location of the burns by gunpowder. They had bullet impacts in their hands, they had surrendered.
Luis Velásquez López, brother of leader Oscar Pérez Lopez, said “here we come to ask the world for help, in Venezuela we are being murdered without mercy. We, the Venezuelan people, we do not have the capacity to defend ourselves, the Armed Forces do nothing, are submissive to their superiors, colonels, generals, who are corrupt and criminals. We are here asking for Europe’s assistance, we cannot fight alone against these criminals, they are like a virus that continues to spread and must be stopped.”