Members of Venezuela’s military counter-intelligence unit conducting searches of prisoner cells in the Ramo Verde military prison last night severely beat Leopoldo Lopez, Enzo Scarano and Daniel Ceballos, three opposition figures currently imprisoned in the facility.
Freddy Guevara, the director of the Voluntad Popular party, broke the story today, saying:
Enzo Scarano was affected the most. He has bruises on his arms, and they left him handcuffed to the bars of his cell. They stole his television, books, and money.
Rosa de Scarano, Enzo’s wife and current mayor of the San Diego, Carabobo, tweeted:
I denounce the violations of the human rights of my husband @ENZOSCARANO in the early morning hours he was savagely beaten in the Ramo Verde jail.
These savage acts were carried out by Military Counterintelligence [officers] they took all his belongings and severely beat him.
By all accounts, Scarano was the worst affected by the beatings. Leon Jurado, one of Scarano’s lawyers, said:
Mayor Scarano wasn’t even able to get up from his bed, and we’ve been informed that he is completely covered in bruises. We don’t know if he was beaten with fists, rifle butts or some other blunt object.
Today, the road providing access to the jail outside of Caracas was blocked by security officials:
Carvajal Set to Appear Before Judge
Hugo Carvajal, the former Venezuelan General arrested on Wednesday on allegations of drug trafficking and collaboration with the FARC, is set to appear before a judge some time today, so says his lawyer.
The lawyer, Chris Le Juez, is sure that Carvajal will be released imminently. According to Le Juez:
Carvajal meets the requirements for diplomatic immunity.
Le Juez confirmed that Carvajal was arrested in Aruba at the request of the United States, since the two countries share an extradition agreement. The United States government has yet to file a request for extradition, Le Juez said.
Carvajal’s lawyer also warned that the case would “explore the limits of diplomatic immunity”, since while Carvajal had been appointed the title of diplomat by the Venezuelan government, the Dutch government had not yet recognized his status.
While Carvajal’s name has been removed from the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores [Ministry of Foreign Relations] website – where it previously appeared – Maduro voiced his support for his ally. During a speech at a military parade in Maracaibo yesterday , Maduro said:
We have witnessed an ambush against a soldier of our homeland who is in the diplomatic service, [and as such] protected by the Geneva Conventions. I’m talking about Major General Carvajal, Carvajal Barrios, who has had the full support of the Bolivarian government since the first moment he was arrested. The state, the people and the army are at his side. This ambush only serves to strengthen us, the civil-military union, [and] patriotism.
I send him my greetings. He’s currently kidnapped, illegally, against the Geneva Conventions, since this soldier of the homeland is a diplomat on assignment from the Venezuelan government.
Finally, an image allegedly taken today inside a Bicentenario [a state-owned subsidized food supermarket] in Maracaibo, Zulia: