A Venezuelan judge who presided over political courtroom proceedings has left Venezuela and is now requesting asylum in Colombia, according to RCN Radio.
The judge, an army major named Luz Mariela Santafe Acevedo, headed “several” cases against political prisoners, among them National Assembly deputy Gilber Caro.
Caro was arrested in January 2017 when the car in which he was riding was intercepted by the SEBIN, the regime’s political police. The SEBIN allegedly found explosive materials and rifles in Caro’s car, and arrested him on the allegation that he was planning to launch a terrorist campaign against the regime.
Approximately a year and a half after his arrest, Caro was released alongside 38 other political prisoners in an apparent token of goodwill by the Maduro regime.
According to RCN Radio, Acevedo also presided over the cases of “various” student protesters who were arrested during the 2017 anti-government demonstrations.
Acevedo was a judge in Carabobo’s Tribunal Militar Sexto de Control [Sixth Control Military Tribunal]. In the Venezuelan legal system, a tribunal de control is a court that oversees the preliminary stages before the start of a trial.
RCN Radio claims that Acevedo arrived in Colombia alone, and is asking for asylum in the country citing the crisis in Venezuela.
Caro Claims to Have Received Message from Acevedo Asking for Forgiveness
In a press conference this afternoon, Caro asked Venezuelans and the international community to have sympathy for the judge who helped to keep him in custody for more than a year. He said:
The judge sent me a private text message to ask for forgiveness, to me and to all of Venezuela for the unjust imprisonments…
Caro said that he, along with an unspecified number of individuals he claims to be in contact with who were also sent to prison by the same judge, had chosen to forgive Acevedo. Caro explained:
If we don’t forgive, we cannot rebuild the country. We cannot move forward. We have to rebuild the country without hatred, without resentment…
Caro also had a message for other regime officials who might be considering defecting, and called on them to “follow the example” of Acevedo.
UNICEF Report Shows Child Mortality Rising in Venezuela vs. 1990
UNICEF has released its 2018 Child Mortality Report, in which it compares child mortality rates around the world with their levels in 1990.
According to the report, child mortality worldwide has dropped by more than 50% since 1990.
One exception is Venezuela, where the rate rose from 30 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990, to 31 in 2017.
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