The vice-president of the Un Nuevo Tiempo party Delsa Solorzano spoke on newly-released figures by the Public Ministry on crime and prosecution in Venezuela. The figures point to a 98.69% impunity rate for human rights violations in 2014. In other words, only 2% of suspected cases of human rights violations in the country were ever prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office.
Solorzano analysed the figure during a press conference, which you can see below along with my translation
Delsa Solorzano: There’s a topic that worries us a lot: human rights. The Attorney General’s Office recognizes that human rights violations have been committed. It recognizes that commission on torture. It says that these are isolated cases, and that they are not representative of state [practices] – but of course, when there’s torture, it’s carried out by the state. It says that it has received 8,049 cases of human rights violations. Only 105 made it to trial. I don’t know how many [resulted in] sentences because they haven’t released that information. This means that the rate of impunity when it comes to this fundamental right at 98.69%.
Despite this fact, the Attorney General [Luisa Ortega Diaz] says that they went to the United Nations Committee on Torture to “defend” – that’s literally what the report says – to defend the Venezuelan state in cases of torture that we in the human rights commission of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica brought up. Can you believe it? I don’t think she understands that she’s the attorney general, not [a defence lawyer for the state]. Her job isn’t to defend the government. Mrs. Luisa Ortega, your job is to bring justice against everyone who commits a crime, as are crimes against human rights. Just because today, thanks to your disastrous role as attorney general, 98.69% of all crimes against human rights have not been punished does not mean that they will not be punished in the future, Mrs. Luisa Ortega Diaz.
Solorzano also pointed out that the Public Ministry’s report contains a telling section in which it admits matter-of-factly that most of the country’s prosecutorial resources were spent on “exercising penal actions against those detained in the protests” of 2014. Solorzano remarked:
This confirms what we’ve been saying: the Public Ministry and judges are dedicated to persecuting political dissent. Who the heck is going after the criminals? The answer is “no one”.
The same report states the following figures regarding the crimes of corruption and the broader category of “common crimes” (street-level crimes) for 2014:
- Corruption: Out of 12,319 cases brought before the Public Ministry; 304 made it to trial (97.73% impunity).
- “Common Crimes”: 351,321 cases brought before the Public Ministry; 5,426 made it to trial (98.45% impunity).
- Kidnapping: 599 cases brought before the Public Ministry; 10 made it to trial (98.33% impunity)
The full Public Ministry report on crime and prosecution thereof in Venezuela for the year 2014 can be found here, in Spanish.
Maduro Cotninues Military Purchases
Calling Venezuelans “a people of peace”, Maduro announced today that Venezuela could continue to buy military hardware from China and Russia “to improve the country’s defences”.
We are a people of peace. We don’t want violence or war. Now, the Bolivarian army, the navy, the air force, the militia, the people of Venezuela have to be alert. Everyone must be alert so that the waters and lands of our country are not touched by foreign imperialist boots. Let us spend our lives doing this. Venezuela’s problems will be resolved here.
At an event last night in Piedras Negras, Falcon state, Maduro shared a tender moment with a young supporter, which you can see below along with my translation:
Maduro: What’s your name?
Maduro: Do you know how to play?
Maduro: Bring a cuatro [a Venezuelan 4-string guitar] to see if Bryan knows how to play. Look at this song I know. Begins singing and playing. Professor [Luis Beltran] Prieto Fieguroa really liked that song. He’s from around here. Where’s Bryan’s cuatro? What a beautiful cuatro. Do you know how to play? Play me a song.
Bryan: Plays cuatro.
Maduro: It’s the same one, see?He sings another… I’m whistling! What other songs do you know? Show me another one. He knows the same ones I do! Do you know Un Pajarillo? Let’s sing it. Or El Principe Del Llano? The Prince On Plain [sic] they call it, in the United States. Grab this.