Human rights activist Lilian Tintori has been summoned to appear for questioning at a Caracas courthouse this Tuesday, September 5 in connection to an apparent investigation into Bs. 200,000,000 in cash found in her vehicle this past week.
Tintori, whose husband is jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, made front page news on Tuesday after attorney general Tarek William Saab held a press conference to announce that authorities had found Bs. 200,000,000 in cash in a vehicle suspected to belong to Tintori during a traffic stop. The bizarre press conference did not include an allegation of wrongdoing, but rather appeared to be aimed at embarrassing Tintori.
Tintori explained that the money–which equals approximately $11,320 dollars–was destined to pay for emergency medical fees related to the hospitalization of her 100-year-old grandmother.
The summon, which was shared on Twitter by fellow Voluntad Popular (VP) member Ana Karina Garcia, can be seen below:
Tintori is not being formally charged with a crime at this time. Rather, she is being accused of being suspected of having committed a crime, and it is likely that she would be formally charged with a criminal offence on Tuesday at the hearing to which she has been summoned.
It is not clear what crime Tintori may be charged with, since it is not illegal to have money in any quantity in Venezuela.
Tintori reacted to news of the summons in a YouTube video, which can be seen below along with my translation:
Lilian Tintori: As Leopoldo has taught us, and as this family as always done, I’ve stepped up. This morning, I went to the CICPC [Venezuela’s investigative police] to make a statement regarding my truck. While I was there, just as I was about to make my statement, this arrived at my home: [holds up a copy of the summons]. I am being summoned to a court. They’re making a scandal out of nothing, out of a personal matter.
It is not a crime to have cash in your property. It is not a crime to have money in your truck or in your home. That is something that I made clear when I admitted that this was my truck and my money. I am not a public official. I am a mother, a wife, and a human rights activist.
What do they [the regime] want? They want to harm us, humiliate us, and discredit us. Venezuela knows our struggle, and that of our family. The world knows our struggle: clear, respectful, and precise. How far will the regime go with all of these attacks?
Let me make it clear: I had that cash in my truck, and that cash was destined to [help with] family emergencies, including the hospitalization of my 100-year-old grandmother, who is uninsured due to her age. I cover her daily expenses, and that is not a crime.
We must renounce injustice and resist the dictatorship, as we have done. [The regime] has attacked our family once more, [they have attacked] Leopoldo, whose imprisonment isn’t enough for them–and now they’re coming after me and my children, Manuela and Leopoldo, as well as my baby who is on his way.
Our family must remain united, and Venezuela must remain strong and faithful.
Ortega Diaz Travels to Mexico
Fugitive former attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz left Colombia yesterday and traveled to Mexico, as she continues her Latin American tour exposing massive corruption involving Maduro regime officials.
Since fleeing Venezuela two weeks ago, Ortega Diaz has also traveled to Brazil and Costa Rica, where she has presented evidence that high ranking regime officials, including Maduro himself, have been enriching themselves through corruption.
Among Ortega Diaz’s claims is that she has evidence that PSUV second-in-command Diosdado Cabello received $100 million in dirty money through the Odebrecht corruption scandal, and that Maduro is personally benefiting from the food shortages in Venezuela through a Mexican company that he owns.
Ortega Diaz was appointed attorney general by Hugo Chavez in 2007. As the top prosecutor in the country, Ortega Diaz played a key role in the Chavez and Maduro regimes until March of this year, when she broke away from the ruling PSUV party and began to criticize the regime’s systemic human rights abuses. Since then, she became a target of persecution, and was eventually forcibly removed from her position on August 5.
Below, two images of Ortega Diaz arriving at the Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City yesterday:
Ortega Diaz met briefly with Mexican attorney general Raul Cervantes today, but no details of the meeting are yet available.
Mexico Offers Ortega Diaz Asylum
The Mexican government has formally offered Ortega Diaz asylum in the country following a meeting between the former attorney general and a group of Mexican senators today. The was was announced by senator Mariana Gomez, who said:
I know other countries have made the same offer, but this country is opening its doors to the Venezuelan attorney general with great pleasure and great care.
The senator also praised Ortega Diaz for her courage, saying:
It is not easy [to do what Ortega Diaz did] in a country where human rights are not respected, and where rights are also not respected, and were unfortunately democracy has been crushed over the last two years.
Senator Gomez also spoke briefly on the Venezuelan crisis, saying:
Unfortunately, the regime of Mr. Nicolas Maduro has placed Venezuela in a dead end…
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