Daniel Ceballos, the former mayor of San Cristobal, Tachira, could soon be free after completing his one year prison sentence. Earlier today, a court in Caracas issued the order to release Ceballos from the Ramo Verde military prison, his home for the last twelve months.
Ceballos was arrested, removed from office and sent to jail last year over allegations that he was not doing enough to stop the protests that were tearing through San Cristobal at the time.
As of 2:30 PM local time, Ceballos was still being held under arrest, much to the dismay of Juan Carlos Gutierrez, his lawyer. At the time, Gutierrez said:
Ceballos’ release has not been carried out because he’s still on trial for false accusations of assault, associating to commit and crime and conspiracy.
The parallel legal proceedings – the ongoing trial and his completed sentence – give the court currently overseeing his case three days to appeal the order for his release, which could potentially result in Ceballos being ordered to remain in prison.
CEPAL Praises Anti-Poverty Goals
Alicia Barcenas, the executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) praised Venezuela’s anti-poverty goals, calling them “very ambitious“. Barcenas said:
CEPAL has made it a goal to have extreme poverty at zero in 2020. You’ve set the goal for 2019. This is a very ambitious proposal [and is] very difficult to achieve, because extreme poverty – and above all, misery – have to be found. It’s truly a hard kind of poverty, and it hurts, and for that reason what you’re doing here, the idea of going out into the barrios up to the places where there is the most poverty, is an excellent proposal that should be looked at by other countries.
Barcenas also said that she believed that Venezuelans had “the will” to continue social programs aimed at easing poverty.
Caracas Subway Closure Causes Headaches
A closure between the Chacao and Chacaito stations on line 1 of the Caracas subway system caused chaos this morning for commuters trying to get around the city. The shut-down, which is necessary to conduct track improvements, will force the Chacaito station to be completely closed until April 6.
Below, a video showing some of the scenes caused by the closure today:
AG: Social Media Should be Regulated
Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz announced today that social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook “should be regulated” to stop the spread of false information. Diaz clarified that the objective of any future regulation would not be “to limit the freedom of expression”, but rather to spread the posting and spreading of false information that could cause panic.
Diaz made the comments in response to a recent case in which a woman was allegedly paid a sum of money by an unidentified individual to post a false story on social media saying that her son had been kidnapped.