The Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights and Attention to the Victims of the Republic, Humberto Prado, condemned this Wednesday the decision of the 21st Court in charge of the Control of the Criminal Judicial Circuit of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas to issue a measure of deprivation of liberty against the three directors of DIRECTV Venezuela.
The following is the full statement:
Our absolute rejection of the decision of the 21st Tribunal in charge of the Control of the Criminal Judicial Circuit of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas issued a measure of imprisonment against the directors of DIRECTV Venezuela, Héctor Rivero Olivares, Carlos José Villamizar and Rodolfo Carrano Puglieses, in the process that is being followed against them for the alleged commission of the crimes of aggravated fraud, boycott, destabilization of the economy and association to commit crimes. DIRECTV Venezuela had decided on May 19th, 2020 that it would cease operations in Venezuela as a result of the regulatory requirements of the National Telecommunications Commission.
This decision is part of a policy undertaken by the de facto regime of Nicolás Maduro of persecution against the aforementioned company, which began with the order issued by the Supreme Court of Justice for the confiscation of the company’s movable and immovable property and for the restoration of service, the issuance of an arrest warrant against the company’s managers, the effective detention of those managers by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), and which was followed by criminal proceedings against them.
The custodial measure taken against these managers violates human rights and guarantees enshrined in our Constitution, including the guarantee of due process, insofar as it does not guarantee a trial in liberty and uses criminal proceedings as a measure of political persecution; and the right to freedom of association and economic, labor, and business freedoms, since it condemns the directors of DIRECTV Venezuela to a trial in prison for the sole reason of their ties to the company and accuses them of committing a crime because of a business decision that is protected under our Constitution. This process, moreover, is absolutely unnecessary, since criminally prosecuting the company’s directors will not result in the restoration of service or in the restoration of DIRECTV’s operations in Venezuela: it is then evident that the de facto regime is using the State’s judicial apparatus as an instrument of political repression.
The Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights and Attention to the Victims denounces to the international community and public opinion this measure of political and economic persecution undertaken by the usurping government against the company DIRECTV Venezuela and its workers that is manifestly contrary character of the Human Rights, recognized in our Constitution and in international covenants signed and ratified by the Republic. We make known to international and regional human rights organizations, especially the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, as well as to public opinion, the policy of repeated violation of human rights by Nicolás Maduro Moros’ regime, to whom we reiterate our obligation to prevent, impede and guarantee the non-repetition of practices equal or similar to those carried out to this date.