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Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said today that nearly 800 people have been tried and found guilty of corruption in the country since the start of the year. Diaz explained:

During 2014, 777 people have been tried and sentenced after they admitted [their crimes]. In other words, 777 admitted that they had committed instances of corruption.

Since the start of the year:

  • 1,191 people have been investigated for corruption.
  • 1,211 people have been arrested for corruption.
  • 847 people have been formally charged with corruption.

Earlier this month, a study placed Venezuela has the most corrupt country in Latin America, and one of the most corrupt in the entire world.

Rafael Narvaez, a human rights lawyer, also called on Diaz today to give a formal explanation of why the human rights violations that occurred earlier this year have not been investigated by the Public Ministry. Narvaez argued:

I cannot be that this official’s [Diaz] tenure can be so far removed from justice, as is that of the People’s Defender [Gabriela Ramirez]. They do not deserve to be re-elected to their posts while there are victims and their families who will not celebrate Christmas because their children have been tortured, injured or killed, as well as those who’ve lost their lives to crime and justice has not been served.

Maduro Organizes March for Monday

Maduro called for a “March Against Imperialism” on Monday in response to the forthcoming U.S. sanctions against high-ranking Venezuelan officials. Maduro said:

This December 15 [let’s take] to the streets. To battle, happily with with dignity. We liberators have to be respected. 

At a different event today, Maduro also signed into law a Bs. 111 million program to create vegetable and fruit gardens in 300 schools around the country. The gardens are part of the Programa Alimentacion Escolar [School Nutrition Program], and will give school children the opportunity to plant and harvest their own food. Maduro explained:

They can start to use these gardens and transform our educational units into productive units for our homeland. I am approving Bs. 111 million to create the first [vegetable and fruit] gardens in our countrry. Your homework is to put an end to junk food.

Maduro also called on all workers – specifically those from PDVSA and other base industries – to redouble their efforts against the “economic war” he claims is being waged by a host of enemies against Venezuela:

Everyone must ask themselves, “What more can I do to fight the economic war in my community?” We can produce more.

Pharmacies Facing 60% Stock Shortage 

Freddy Ceballos, the president of the Federacion Farmaceutica de Venezuela [Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Association] said today that the country’s pharmacies are currently experiencing a 60% stock shortage rate. Ceballos blamed the industry’s continued inability to secure foreign currency as the primary reason for the shortages.

Ceballos also called on the government to publish an official list detailing which of the government-run pharmacies are lacking which supplies as a way to efficiently let customers know what they can and cannot ifnd in their local establishments.

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