The National Assembly condemned the acts of violence and the forms of torture and cruel and inhuman treatment against citizens who have been arbitrarily detained, for exercising their right to protest, peacefully, in the face of prolonged power cuts, especially those recorded in recent days in Lara State.
This was enacted in the agreement approved in the ordinary session this Tuesday May 26th, which condemns the human rights violations committed in Lara State, hiding behind the state of alarm decree issued by the usurper regime of Nicolás Maduro.
They also reject that the state of alarm decree gives state and municipal authorities a role in supporting the measures, but they have assumed unconstitutional powers regarding the limits of free transit and business hours, generating a regulatory chaos in which some governors have declared on their own “states of alarm” and, in other cases, mayors have imposed arbitrary limitations that go beyond the decree.
In the approved document, they demand the immediate release of all those deprived of their liberty for exercising their right to demonstrate peacefully and without weapons, especially Luis Pérez and Humberto Carreño Pérez, given their health conditions. They categorically condemn the forms of torture and cruel and inhuman treatment to which the detainees have been subjected.
Furthermore, they request a precautionary measure of protection for the inhabitants of the Urbanization Antonio José de Sucre in Barquisimeto and denounce before international human rights organizations the violations committed in Lara State, on the occasion of the protests against the deplorable state of public services.
Likewise, to request international human rights organizations, especially the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee, to demand that Nicolás Maduro’s regime cease its abuses and arbitrariness against the population, based on the state of exception imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to demand the execution of protection measures for the most vulnerable groups in the face of the spread of this disease.
The deputy for the State of Lara, Alfonso Marquina, began the debate on this issue, stating that Venezuela is suffering the worst crisis of public services in its history and in it has worsened in Lara State, to the point that the people of Lara suffer power cuts between 8, 10 and 12 hours a day, whole weeks without drinking water service, no (cooking) gas, no gasoline, causing a situation of discontent in the population that has generated spontaneous protests despite the measure of confinement.
“The response received by the Lara resdidents from the national and regional government is the issuance of a decree of suspension of guarantees, a declaration of state of emergency, which prohibits the citizen to circulate in the streets of the city, this has led to more than 40 arrests”.
He assured that they are trying to silence, criminalize and prosecute the protests, an example of this is the detention of 5 young people from the Sucre urbanization, 7 in Carora, of which 2 are teenagers, and 13 in El Tocuyo, all were deprived of their freedom for protesting and banging pots, charging them with major crimes such as association to commit crimes, public instigation and possesion of incendiary objects.
“The 7th Judge of Control of the State of Lara, Ana Tovar, had issued a conditional release for the detainees, but she received a superior counter-order that forced her to change her sentence, therefore, they were deprived of their freedom, not caring that among the detainees there were two young men Humberto Carreño who suffers from severe scoliosis and has a hip operation, he has 21 screws in his spine; and Luis Perez, who has Down syndrome. They have been in prison for more than 12 days. What danger can a young man with Down’s syndrome be to the dictatorship,” asked Congressman Marquina.
For his part, Lara State Representative Guillermo Palacios condemned the violence and repression that the regime has intensified throughout the country during the quarantine, to prevent the Venezuelan people from protesting their discontent in the face of the serious humanitarian crisis, the deterioration of public services, the lack of resources to buy food and medicine, the shortage of gasoline and the collapsed health system.
“Faced with this panorama the people have come out to protest and the regime responds with repression and no solutions, stopping a people who are tired of their lies, because of their inability to solve the problems.”
He denounced that the young prisoners in Lara have been tortured, he gave as an example that in the municipality of Torres the judge ordered that the detainees be taken to a forensic doctor and they still have not been taken, because in the opinion of the officials this is not necessary, they want to avoid that it be revealed that the detainees have been tortured and abused.
“In addition to the agreement approved by this plenary condemning these events, we are going to take each of the cases of the detainees in Lara State, so that the Domestic Policy Committee can open an investigation and register those guilty of torture, cruel treatment, and human rights violations and punish the judges who have lent themselves to these detentions and abuses against citizens who were exercising their right to protest.”
Palacios also said that the case should be submitted to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, and that she should request a precautionary measure of protection for the inhabitants of the Sucre urbanization in Barquisimeto, in order to avoid further reprisals against the community.
For her part, deputy for Lara Ana Salas, assured that these young people who were deprived of their liberty are receiving inhumane and degrading treatment, severe torture and a total lack of respect for their physical, psychological and moral integrity. She said this is evidenced by the case of Giovanni Mesa.
“This young man suffered convulsions in the middle of the hearing, which forced the judge to order his transfer to the Central Hospital of Barquisimeto, but due to the precariousness of the health center, he was transferred to a private clinic, where he was detected to have 5 broken ribs. With Giovanni, 4 more young people from the Sucre urbanization were detained,” explained Deputy Salas.
She urged Venezuelans to make known to the world the violations of human rights and the constitutional right to protest. That in Venezuela there is a schematic pattern put into practice in the state of Lara of abuse, political persecution, criminalization of protest, and the violation of rights enshrined in international treaties, such as the right to physical integrity, to not be tortured, and due process.
While the Deputy for the State of Lara Angel Torres, was emphatic in stating that the systematic violation of human rights is a common norm of terrorist regimes, which in his view use death, repression and torture to intimidate citizenry through terror.
“The dictatorship is taking advantage of the pandemic to try to silence a people that demand basic services. We have arbitrary detentions throughout the state, more than 30 arrests. Citizens who have been arrested by their WhatsApp state, such as the case of doctor Carlos Araya, and these arrests have been systematically repeated throughout the state.
He said that minors and people with disabilities have also been detained. He assured that all the dictatorship does is intimidate, far from solving the problems of the communities, they attack those who claim their rights. He assured that the country is going to come out of this disaster with a National Emergency Government.
During his speech, the deputy for Lara, Daniel Antequera, said that the population of Lara has expressed its discontent that has become more serious in the course of the confinement, motivating citizens to protest, causing a strong repression by the FAES and GNB, who have practiced arrests of citizens of the popular sectors, which shows the partiality of a justice system that in his view kneels to the regime.
“The detainees were placed under the order of a prosecutor acting as a judicial secretariat of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. They will have to take away the pots from all the people of Lara and the Venezuelans. Here there is widespread hunger and a malaise that is growing every day and the need for change is also growing in Venezuela. From the darkest hours we must bring out the best in us and overcome this terrible situation that has generated Nicolas Maduro through the bodies of state repression. My solidarity with all the detainees”.