[News] Understanding the Facts on Violence and Human Rights in Venezuela's Unrest
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 13 18:09:55 EDT 2014
Understanding the Facts on Violence and Human Rights in Venezuela's Unrest
March 13th 2014
*Understanding the Facts on Violence and Human Rights in Venezuela Unrest*
/By Ewan Robertson -- Venezuelanalysis.com /
/Venezuelanlysis.com publishes a concise study of the fatalities,
wounded and damages caused in the last month of political violence. The
findings suggest that the narrative used to explain the violence in most
mainstream media outlets is either uninformed or deliberately misleading./
Venezuela is currently experiencing a wave of political violence in the
context of an opposition movement of protest, riots and street
barricades which began in early February. However, it is a matter of
concern that many media outlets are forcing the complex events into a
simplistic "state repression of peaceful protesters" narrative for their
international audiences. An examination of the political violence and
the judicial efforts to investigate it suggests that this is an
incorrect characterisation of the situation and a more nuanced
understanding is needed.
This article looks at the fatalities and other key statistics of the
political violence to give a clearer and more accurate picture of what
is occurring. In an annex at the end, Zoe Clara Dutka publishes a
summary statement from an important group of human rights experts in
Venezuela, who released the three-point document "for those wishing to
make an authentic analysis of the current situation". In a second annex,
a complete list of fatalities and their presumed causes of death in the
conflict is published.
*An Examination of the Violence*
According to the list compiled by this author 30 deaths have occurred in
connection with the political violence so far. The most lethal cause has
been the militant opposition's street barricades (see Annex 2). The list
- 17 people died in barricade-related deaths, which include people shot
while trying to clear a barricade, "accidents" caused by barricades and
street traps, and patients dying after being prevented from reaching
hospital by a barricade. This number also includes a pro-opposition
student who was run over while trying to block a road.
- 5 of the deaths appear to be due to the actions of state security
forces. All these cases are under investigation, and arrests have
already been made in several.
- the other 8 cases are deaths in which either there exist contradictory
accounts, it is very unclear who the perpetrator was, the killer was a
third party, or where the death was an accident related to the violence.
In 5 of these cases claims have been made that the perpetrator was an
armed pro-government motorcyclist, with the word /colectivos /used in a
pejorative sense to describe these groups (see Annex 1).
Based on information from press reports, 12 of those who died were
civilians without an open political affiliation, 9 were identified as
pro-opposition, 5 as pro-government, 3 were National Guard officers and
1 was a government lawyer.
of 318 people have been wounded, of which 237 are civilians and 81
belong to security forces, according to figures held by the Attorney
General's office released on 7 March. The figure is likely higher due to
recent clashes and the fact that some people wounded may not have been
officially recorded, for example if they didn't go to a medical centre
There have also been significant damages to public and private property.
Nightly riots by radical opposition activists in the east of Caracas and
other cities have caused damage or destruction to government offices,
health centres, supermarkets, banks, transport infrastructure, and other
property. The riots and street barricades have taken place in a maximum
of 18 of the country's 335 territorial municipalities. However these
municipalities represent highly populated middle and upper class areas
of several of the country's major cities, where the opposition has its
base of support. On 26 February, two weeks after protests started,
authorities put a tentative cost
<http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10417> on the violence at BsF 10
million (US $1,587,000).
The riots and street barricades have also had a significant impact on
health and education services in affected areas. Schools and
universities have been closed, while in some cases access to medical
facilities has been blocked off and the passage of ambulances made
difficult, occasionally with deadly results. The Ministry of Health has
warned of the environmental
impact of the barricades on public health, where burning tires and
rubbish create dangerous levels of toxic fumes, and elderly or
vulnerable citizens are effectively trapped in their communities due to
the blocking of roads.
of 1,603 people have been arrested in connection with the unrest,
according to the Attorney General's 7 March update. The majority of
these have been released without charge or on bail conditions. 92 remain
in custody to be charged with various "violent crimes", including
homicide in a few cases.
Further, 14 members of security forces have been arrested for alleged
abuses and excess use of force.
The Venezuelan ombudsman, the state's human rights defender, has
received 44 denouncements of alleged abuses by state security forces,
the majority of which have to do with the excess use of force during or
under arrest. On 7 March the ombudsman held a meeting
with the Penal Forum, a Venezuelan human rights NGO, to collect further
information on the cases. Two of the cases qualify for possible torture
while in custody, according
<http://panorama.com.ve/portal/app/push/noticia103691.php> to the
ombudsman and the UN rapporteur on torture. Authorities have also met
with Venezuelan human rights NGO Provea to discuss the cases.
The opposition MUD coalition's human rights commission also claims that
there exist cases of irregularities in the processing of some of those
detained, such as not allowing them due access to family members or
lawyers. The ombudsman made a renewed call
last weekend to security forces to fulfill all correct legal proceeding
The government also says that a total of 20,000 National Guard officers
are deployed in the country due to the unrest and the many opposition
protests that have occurred, and argues that the 44 denouncements
represent a small minority of security forces deployed.
*Responsibility and Investigation*
Authorities have repeatedly spoken out against all forms of political
violence and stated that any abuses by security forces will be
investigated. The Attorney General has offered
anonymity to anyone who comes forward.
"We're going to investigate any disproportionate use of force. We reject
it and we want justice to be proportionately applied, I want this to be
very clear," said Ombudsman Gabriela Ramirez in a press conference on
Friday 7 March.
While the government has focused on criticising the violence of the
radical opposition, they have also stated from early on that any
violence from pro-government groups will not be tolerated either, and
have called on government supporters to work for "peace".
"I want to say clearly: someone who puts on a red t-shirt with Chavez's
face and takes out a pistol to attack isn't a Chavista or a
revolutionary. I don't accept violent groups within the camp of Chavismo
and the Bolivarian revolution. If you want to have arms to fight...get
out of Chavismo," warned <http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10356>
President Nicolas Maduro during a "rally for peace" with supporters on
15 February, three days after the first deaths from the violent unrest
Nevertheless the opposition has almost exclusively blamed the government
for the violence, saying that security forces and radical armed chavista
groups are responsible.
"State security forces, accompanied by paramilitary groups, have cruelly
attacked peaceful and defenceless protesters...leaving a lamentable
tally of citizens assassinated, seriously wounded, tortured and
disappeared," claimed <http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10382> the
opposition's Democratic Unity Table (MUD) coalition in a statement on 21
In response to the violence, President Nicolas Maduro has advocated
<http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10424> that the National Assembly form
a "Truth Commission" to investigate "all" acts of violence in recent
weeks. This would also include investigating the role of "extremist
right-wing groups" in perpetrating or promoting acts of violence.
Opposition and pro-government parliamentarians have debated forming such
a commission, which would then seek to include civil society figures
such as the Catholic Church and respected journalists as members.
Meanwhile the opposition MUD coalition is preparing its own report on
the violence. Rather than take this report to national judicial
authorities, they will go straight to "international organisations" with
The coalition appears to be solely investigating cases of alleged abuses
by state security forces, possibly in order to support their narrative
of the violence.
"In all these cases the direct responsibility belongs to the government
that Nicolas Maduro presides, and therefore it should be accused of
crimes against humanity," argued Elenis Rodriguez, president of the
Foundation for Citizen Rights and Equity, who is helping the MUD compile
Meanwhile on 7 March the Organization of American States (OAS) released
a statement on the conflict expressing "its condolences and solidarity
with the victims and their relatives, with the people and the government
of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and its commitment to the
investigations coming to an expedited and just conclusion".
Diplomatically the resolution was considered supportive of the
Venezuelan government, and also included a not-so-veiled message to
street barricaders by calling for the "respect for human rights and
fundamental liberties, including the right to freedom of expression,
peaceful gatherings, free transit, health and education". The full
statement can be read here <http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10463>.
*Careful Observation *
The incidences of the recent political violence in Venezuela suggest
that that the violence shouldn't be explained or characterised by a
simplistic "state repression of peaceful protesters" narrative. The
above typology of the violence demonstrates that there exists a complex
situation in the country with violence being generated by more than one
source. The most lethal of these has been the militant opposition street
barricades, which beyond deaths caused, have had a significant physical,
environmental and psychological impact on public health. Other sources
of violence have been the irregular actions of security forces,
shootings in which there exist accusations that armed pro-government
groups are responsible, and other accidental or third party killings.
As such, the patterns of violence experienced in the unrest so far
suggest that the narrative promoted by many mainstream media outlets is
likely to mislead international audiences on the nature of the violence
occurring. This narrative has even been reproduced, perhaps due to lack
of research rather than purposeful misreporting, by several leading
newspapers usually known for their journalistic integrity. For example,
by Sibylla Brodzinsky in the UK Guardian on 10 March described the
violence as follows. It is left to readers to conclude whether this
description allows an international audience to accurately understand
the nature of the political violence occuring:
"The protests began more than a month ago...amid growing distrust of
Maduro...The protests spread to Caracas and other cities, prompting
a violent response from the government. At least 21 people have died
and hundreds have been injured in the nationwide clashes".
Journalists should be careful not to play to inaccurate stereotypes or
narratives of the political violence being experienced in Venezuela. As
different international figures and organisations debate their stance
and course of action, it is imperative for observers to have an accurate
grasp of the reality of the situation and the nature of the political
violence occurring in the country.
/In Annex 1 below, Zoe Clara Dutka of Venezuelanalysis.com summarises a
statement by an important group of Venezuelan human rights experts
giving their perspective of the situation in the country. The
signatories are current and former members of various Venezuelan NGO's
such as Amnesty International (Venezuela chapter), PROVEA, and the Red
de Apoyo y Justicia Por la Paz. The information on recent statements by
opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles was added by
VA.com. The full list of the document's signatories (in Spanish) is
included in a footnote at the end of the article. /
/In Annex 2, the full list compiled by this author of fatalities in the
last month of political violence is published. /
*Annex 1: The Situation of Human Rights in the Current Moment: An
/By Zoe Clara Dutka -- Venezuelanalysis.com/
A number of Venezuelan human rights groups joined together on February
24th to organize a document
outlining the unique circumstances that make up today's conflict. They
urge international human rights groups to respect their observations, as
longstanding organizations made up of dedicated Venezuelans who may
provide a more intimate understanding of current events in their
country. A full list of the organizations who participated in the
document is provided below.
All groups involved made statements condemning violence in all its forms
and demanding the government conduct full investigations of any
uniformed officials linked to instances of aggression and unwarranted
We highlight the following three points in an attempt to provide
necessary context for those wishing to make an authentic analysis of the
*The historic utilization of the term "Human Rights," in regards to
Venezuela.* In 2003 Amnesty International sounded the alarm on a general
misuse of this term in reference to Venezuela. Undeniably influenced and
oftentimes financed by the United States government, many leading human
rights organizations, most notably Human Rights Watch, have repeatedly
disregarded democratic proceedings in favor of a determined accusatory
stance towards the Venezuelan state.
In this instance, the term "human rights violations" is being used by
the opposition (through social media and media outreach) as an argument
to force a democratically elected leader out of office through
unconstitutional means. This infringes upon the majority's right to
choose exercised in the April 2013 presidential and December regional
elections that brought the current government into office.
*Increased polarization as a source of conflict.* In January the
government reached out to opposition leaders to coordinate their efforts
to lower crime rates, which both parties acknowledged was a top
priority. At the same time, strict measures were taken by the government
meant to reduce speculation and food shortages.
The onslaught of protests beginning February 12th ruined any idea of a
continued dialogue between these two political sectors, and has
polarized Venezuelan society to a previously unheard of extent. A
general scorn for dialogue has prevailed as the trademark of the
opposition. More than any list of demands or proposed solutions, the
ultimate goal of the protestors is to force the government out of
office, characterized by the hashtag symbol #lasalida (the exit).
The refusal to dialogue is made even clearer by the opposition's boycott
of the peace talks hosted by the government. Ex-presidential candidate
Henrique Capriles said of his absence in the talks, "This is a dying
government. I'm not going to be like the orchestra on the Titanic."
Leopoldo Lopez, oppositional leader in jail for inciting violence in the
initial protests, tweeted from behind bars "'The exit' will only happen
when people organize in the streets to make the dictatorship retreat."
The increased polarization is an important factor in the increasingly
violent attitude assumed by both the student protestors and their
counterparts among government supporters. In short, the contempt shown
for dialogue and the negation of the government's legitimacy is
internalized on a societal level as a battle cry.
In order to stop the cycle of violence, international human rights
organizations would do well to uphold the declaration made by the OAS
and urge the opposition to engage in peace talks.
*The criminalization of social sectors.* In reference to the presence of
possible "armed collectives" who the media has presented as a kind of
shock troop or special police, we must be very clear. Generalizations do
not lead to solutions in any conflict, and just as we recognize that not
all the student protests are violent nor all their participants
extremists, we must offer a clean and straightforward look at what the
colectivos are and the role they have played.
Over the past three decades, many revolutionaries have maintained that
an armed struggle is imperative in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez was
emphatically against this notion during his presidency and repeatedly
warned any armed groups, no matter if they were his supporters, that
they were placing themselves on the margin of the law and must assume
the consequences. Nicolas Maduro has equally condemned the presence of
armed civilians harassing recent protestors, and put out a warrant for
the arrest of any who have been linked to violence.
It's important to note that for many, the colectivos are synonymous with
community organizing... NOT with violence. The image of the colectivo as
a primarily male reactionary group of rebels on motorcycles is a product
of the media, and could be no farther from the truth. The
criminalization of these community collectives is similar to the way the
neighborhood Bolivarian Circles were attacked and their image was
distorted after the 2002 coup against Chavez. These are the kinds of
organizations that have characterized the participatory aspect of
Venezuela's democracy, and to typecast them as terrorist groups is to
overlook some leading examples of the power of grassroots organizing.
Signed, signatories[i] <http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10474#_edn1>
*Annex 2: A List of Fatalities in Venezuela's Recent Political Violence *
/By Ewan Robertson -- Venezuelanalysis.com/
Writing on 13 March, a total of at least 30 people have died in
connection with the opposition protests, street barricades and unrest
which have been occurring since 12 February in Venezuela.
A note on the following count
This list has been compiled using reports from Venezuelan authorities
and media. It includes all deaths which have been reportedly connected
with the protests, riots, and street barricades. However it does not
include several cases which have been included on other lists, due to
the possibility that these deaths were not related to the political
violence but were in fact the result of other criminal violence. It also
differs slightly from the count held by Venezuelan authorities, which
does not appear to include the two cases mentioned below of deaths
caused by barricades delaying patients in a critical condition from
It is important to highlight that both this and all other counts are
made using the available information and the judgment of the authors.
New information produced as investigations proceed may change which
cases count as being connected to the political violence, and who the
perpetrator of each murder is considered to be. Observers are welcome to
send in information to VA.com on cases that may have been missed, or
information that suggests that cases which have been excluded from the
current list should be included.
The list is as follows:
*1,2 & 3:* On 12 February, an opposition activist, *José Roberto Redman
*(31), a pro-opposition carpenter, *Bassil DaCosta *(23), and a Chavista
social activist, *Juan Montoya* (40) were killed during clashes
DaCosta and Montoya are assumed to have been shot during a confrontation
with intelligence service (SEBIN) officers and armed civilians near the
Attorney General's office following the violent end of an opposition
march in the area. Five SEBIN officers have been charged
in connection with the deaths. President Maduro said that the SEBIN
service had orders to remain indoors that day, and the officers present
on the scene were acting against orders. The director of SEBIN at the
time, Gen. Manuel Gregorio Bernal, has been removed from his post.
Redman was reportedly killed
later that evening by a motorbike rider who rode past a group of
opposition activists on the street and fired at them. According to a
witness, the rider was dressed in black and was "impossible to identify".
*4:* On 18 February, a 17 year old student,* José Ernesto Méndez* was
reportedly run over
by a car in Carúpano, Sucre state, while trying to block a road as part
of protests. The person accused of running him over was arrested.
*5:* On 18 February, a student and former Miss Tourism Carabobo,
*Génesis Carmona *(22), was shot
and killed during an opposition march in Valencia, Carabobo state.
Ultimas Noticias reported
witnesses saying that a pro-government armed group had attacked the
march. However, Interior Affairs Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres and
other authorities later stated
that ballistic investigations showed that Carmona was shot from behind
"from within opposition ranks". Authorities also say witnesses have
confirmed this. The investigation is ongoing.
*6: *On 19 February, worker *Asdrúbal Jose Rodríguez *(26) was arrested
by officers from the police force of the opposition-controlled
municipality of Chacao, in the Altamira area of Caracas where protests
were occurring. He was found dead
the next day. Two officers of the Chacao police force have been arrested
for suspected murder. Family members insist that Rodriguez was not part
of the protests (as was apparently claimed), and nor was he trying to
rob a motorbike, as a Chacao police source had said.
*7:* On 19 February, public attorney *Julio Eduardo González *(25),
crashed his car <http://www.ciudadccs.info/?p=535289> in Valencia,
Carabobo state while trying to drive around a street barricade.
*8:* On 19 February, *Luzmila Petit de Colina *(70),died
<http://www.ciudadccs.info/?p=535274> when barricaders prevented her
passage to a medical clinic in Caracas. Colina was suffering from
arterial hypertension at the time and doctors said
that the delay in reaching hospital was what provoked the death. Colina
was the mother of a state channel TV presenter, Jean Francis Colina.
*9:* On 20 February, *Arturo Alexis Martinez *(59), brother of socialist
party (PSUV) deputy Francisco Martínez, was shot dead
in Lara state while trying to clear up a road barricade in Barquisimeto.
Ballastic investigations suggested that Martinez was shot from a nearby
apartment bloc. A 28 year old man has been arrested
<http://www.avn.info.ve/node/225614> in connection with the murder.
*10:* On 20 February, *Delia Elena Lobo *(41) died
after her motorbike crashed into the barbed wire of a street barricade
in Mérida state.
*11*: On 21 February, *Elvis Rafael Durán *(29) (note: the name has also
been reported as Santiago Enrique Pedroza) died
(reportedly beheaded) in the Sucre municipality of Caracas after riding
his motorbike into an unseen barbed wire barricade.
*12:* On 22 February, a student, *Geraldine Moreno *(23), who had been
with birdshot by a National Guard officer during a protest in Carabobo
state a few days earlier, died from head injuries. The scientific police
investigation body (CICPC) is investigating
the incident, and have reportedly identified
the officer responsible.
*13:* On 22 February, a student, *Danny Joel Melgarejo Vargas *(20), was
near a barricade in Tachira. While twitter rumors initially claimed
Vargas was shot by the National Guard, authorities revealed he was
stabbed by a private citizen. State governor Jose Vielma said
barricaders damaged the bike of a motorbike rider and then put out a
cigarette on his forehead when he tried to pass the barricade. The
motorbike rider returned fifteen minutes later looking for revenge, and
mistook Vargas for the barricaders, stabbing him twice. Two arrests have
in connection with the incident.
*14:* On 23 February, *José Alejandro Márquez* (43), a systems engineer,
dead. His skull was fractured three days earlier when he was arrested by
the National Guard during a protest in Caracas. There are conflicting
accounts of events, one being that Marquez' injuries came from falling
while running to avoid arrest, another that National Guard officers beat
Marquez while under arrest and caused his injuries. Seven National Guard
officers are currently being investigated
in connection with the incident.
*15:* On 24 February, *Jimmy Vargas *(34), an anti government activist,
fell from a rooftop
and died in Tachira state. The nearby street barricade that he manned
was reportedly under attack by security forces at the time, and many
local and national press outlets apparently falsely reported
<http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10410> that Vargas was shot by the
*16:* On 24 February, a businessman, *Wilmer Jhonny Carballo *(43), was
when motorbike riders attacked a protest in Aragua state. Press mention
the motorbike riders fired into the air, but don't confirm exactly who
killed Carballo. Family members say
that the bikers were from a pro-government group.
*17:* On 24 February, motorbike taxi worker *Antonio José Valbuena *(32)
in Maracaibo, Zulia state, while clearing a barricade to open up a road
to traffic. He was reportedly killed by a masked figure as part of an
effort to dissuade the group he was with from their activity.
*18:* On 24 February, an elderly lady, *Carmen Roldán* (82), died
when her ambulance was unable to reach hospital due to a barricade in
Maracaibo, Zulia state. She and four residents from her care centre were
reportedly suffering <http://www.avn.info.ve/node/223791> from
respiratory infections due to the smoke produced from burning tires on
*19:* On 25 February, motorbike rider *Eduardo Anzola* (29) died
when he crashed into an unseen street barricade at night in Valencia,
*20:* On 28 February, a National Guard officer*, Giovanni Pantoja *(29)
was reportedly shot
by an assailant while trying to clear burning tires
from a road with fellow officers in Carabobo state.
*21*: On 3 March, student *Luis Gutiérrez Camargo* reportedly died
when he drove into a barricade in Táchira state. However family members
have also stated
<http://diariodelosandes.com/content/view/246455/106231/> that Camargo
actually hit rocks on the road near the barricade and not the barricade
itself. Further, it is not clear whether the rocks had been placed
intentionally on the road or not. Authorities are investigating.
*22: *On 3 March, motorbike taxi worker *Deivis José Duran Useche* died
a street in Caracas when his motorbike hit an open street drain whose
lid had been taken by protesters, presumably to make a barricade.
*23 & 24* -- On 6 March a National Guard officer, *Acner Isaac López
León* (25), and a moto-taxi worker, *José Gregorio Amaris* (24) were
by gunshots during an effort <http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10457> to
clear an opposition barricade from a road in Caracas. Authorities say
the shots came from nearby buildings. An investigation is underway.
*25*: On 7 March, a motorcyclist, *Johan Alfonso Pineda Morales *(28),
when his motorbike sipped on oil placed on a highway in Caracas.
Venezuela's transport minister Haiman El Troudi claimed that the oil was
placed "intentionally" by "terrorist and barricader" groups.
*26*: On 8 March, student and pro-government activist *Gisela Rubilar
Figueroa* (47) was shot
by assailants while she tried to clear a barricade that was blocking
access to her community in Mérida state. She died a day later, on 9
March. An investigation has been launched.
*27*: On 10 March, *Daniel Tinoco* (24), a pro-opposition student in
Táchira state, was shot
while at a common meeting point with other activists. Private media
reports say he was shot by unidentified gunmen on motorbikes. The
government has joined condolences and ordered an official investigation.
*28, 29 & 30:* On 12 March, during a lamentably bloody day
of violent confrontations in Valencia, Carabobo state, two civilians and
one National Guard officer were killed, all from firearms.
The civilians were student *Jesús Enrique Acosta* (20) and a worker,
*Guillermo Sánchez* (42), who died on Avenida Isabelica. Family members
of the two insist
they were shot armed by pro-government motorcyclists. The PSUV state
governor, Francisco Ameliach instead claimed that the men were fact shot
by snipers in a nearby building, "by their own people".
The National Guard officer to be killed was captain *Ramso Ernesto
Bracho Bravo*. He was reportedly shot
in the face during confrontations with barricaders while his unit were
trying to clear barricades on a street in Valencia.
*Regional states in which the deaths occurred:*
Capital District (Caracas): 11
Carabobo (Valencia): 8
Tachira (San Cristóbal): 4
Mérida (Mérida city): 2
Zulia (Maracaibo): 2
*Apparent cause of death*
*Deaths implicating security forces*: 5
- Bassil Da Costa, Juan Montoya, José Alejandro Márquez, Geraldine
Moreno, Asdrúbal Jose Rodríguez.
*Deaths occurring on or because of barricades and road traps*: 17 (16
implicating opposition activists or activities, 1 student run over).
- Julio Eduardo González, Arturo Alexis Martinez, Delia Elena Lobo,
Elvis Rafael Durán, Antonio José Valbuena, Eduardo Anzola,José Ernesto
Méndez, Luzmila Petit de Colina, Carmen Roldán, Giovanni Pantoja, Luis
Gutiérrez Camargo, Deivis José Duran Useche, Acner Isaac López León,
José Gregorio Amaris, Johan Alfonso Pineda Morales, Gisela Rubilar
Figueroa, Ramso Ernesto Bracho Bravo.
*Deaths where the perpetrator is not clear / accusations go both
directions, the killer was a third party, or an accident occurred
related to clashes:* 8
- Roberto Rodman, Jimmy Vargas, Jhonny Carballo,Génesis Carmona, Daniel
Tinoco, Danny Joel Melgarejo Vargas, Jesús Enrique Acosta, Guillermo
Of these eight cases, in six opposition activists were shot by so far
unidentified persons, in five of which there exist accusations that the
killer belonged to a pro-government armed group. In the other two, an
opposition activist died by accident, and a bystander was stabbed.
*Political affiliation of those who died*
The below information is based on press reports and conclusions drawn by
the author. As more information becomes available these numbers could
Civilians with no identified political affiliation so far: 12
Identified with the opposition: 9
Identified with the government: 5
National Guard: 3
Public servants: 1
*Additional cases possibly associated with the political violence but
not included on the list*
On 25 February, Joan Gabriel Quintero was shot
by unidentified figures during the sacking of a supermarket in Aragua
state. It is not clear if this was linked to the political violence, or
was related to gang violence, what authorities refer to as "settling
On 27 February,Nancy Perez (89), the mother of the PSUV governor of
Yaracuy state, Julio León Heredia, died of a heart attack. President
Maduro said on national television that she died
"as a result of the pot banging protest" that opposition activists were
doing outside of her house. It is not clear at the moment if it was this
protest that caused the heart attack or not, however Maduro did mention
that the lady in question was in a delicate medical condition and was
meant to remain in a calm and peaceful state.
On 10 March, a pro-government student, Angelo Vargas Stanco (25) was
reportedly from a moving car in Bolivar state. Another man, José
Gregorio Padilla (27), who was with Vargas, was also killed. Vargas had
reportedly received threats
after arguing against opposition students in university debates that
classes should re-start. Private media have alleged that the incident
was an attempted robbery. However police consider
that the motive may have been a "revenge" to murder Gregorio Padilla,
and so the killing may not be related to the violent protests and
unrest. A PSUV parliamentarian also claimed the deaths were not related
to barricaders, and asked that the case not be "politicised".
The above list reports two cases of deaths (here
<http://www.ciudadccs.info/?p=535274> and here
<http://www.avn.info.ve/node/223791>) which occurred when barricaders
didn't let patients experiencing an emergency medical situation to reach
a hospital in time. However, President Nicolas Maduro said
on 24 February that 30 people, including those with respiratory
conditions, had died as a result of the smoke from barricades and delays
in reaching hospital. On 26 February Maduro went on to say
that "over fifty" people had died in connection with the barricades.
[i] <http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10474#_ednref1> 1. Ana
Barrios, C.I. 5.451.122, Miembra del equipo coordinador de (Provea
1990-1995). Integrante de Amnistía Internacional Venezuela (2004-2009).
Miembra asociada de la Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz (2000-actual).
2. Marieva Caguaripano, C.I. 10.378016. Comunicadora. Coordinadora del
área de Comunicación e Información, Miembro del Equipo Coordinador,
Provea (1990, 1995). Productora de campañas de prevención y
concientización sobre embarazo adolescente y violencia doméstica (2010 -
3. Alba Carosio, C.I. 11858059. Feminista, Coordinadora de Investigación
del Centro de Estudios de la Mujer de la Universidad Central de
Venezuela. Actualmente activa en la Red de Colectivos La Araña Feminista.
4. Cristóbal Cornieles Perret Gentil. C.I. 10.817.524. Abogado. Miembro
de la Asamblea de la Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz (2006 -);
Miembro Consultivo de CECODAP (1999 -2007); Integrante del equipo de
defensa jurídica de ACCSI (1999 -2000); Integrante del Colectivo de
Atención Integral a los Trabajadores (Aportes, 1995- 1998) e Integrante
de Provea (1994- 1995).
5. Luis Díaz, C.I. 11.488.047. Investigador. Centro para la Paz y los
Derechos Humanos. Universidad Central de Venezuela. 1996 - 2009.
6. Michael Adolfo Díaz Mendoza, C.I. 17.066.609. Abogado y activista de
DDHH. Colaborador del Centro de Apoyo Comunidad Universidad CEA-UC
(2000-2008), miembro del Colectivo de Educación e Investigación para el
Desarrollo Social - CEIDES (2008-2010).
7. Isamar Escalona, C.I. 7.981.055. Responsable de Grupos y Redes. Área
de Educación Provea (2000-2006).
8. Pedro Pablo Fanega, C.I. 6.241.410. miembro de del Centro de
Organización Comunitaria y Derechos Humanos del Estado Vargas, Codehva
(2004-2007). Miembro de la Comisión Nacional para la Reforma Policial
9. Pablo Fernández Blanco, C.I. 23.527.749, Integrante y Coordinador del
Programa de Educación en DDHH (1996-2005) y Coordinador General
(2006-2012) de la Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz.
10. Judith Galarza Campos. Afectada por la desaparición forzada por
motivos políticos de su hermana Leticia Galarza, efectuada en D.F. en
México, el 5 de enero de 1978. Fundadora del Comité Independiente de
Chihuahua pro defensa de los derechos humanos y AFADEM. Actualmente
Secretaria Ejecutiva de la Federación Latinoamericana de Familiares de
Detenidos Desparecidos (Fedefam).
11. Jesús Chucho García. C.I. 4.168.353. Fundación Afroamérica y La
12. Iván González Alvarado, C.I: 7.379.876. Miembro de la Asamblea y
Consultivo Provea (1994 - 2013).
13. Enrique González, C.I. 29.525.916, miembro de Provea (1995-1999),
ACCSI (2000-2001), investigador con Cecodap (2002-2003).
14. Antonio J. González Plessmann, C.I. 10.866.332, Miembro del Equipo
Coordinador de Provea (1999 - 2005). Miembro Asociado de la Red de Apoyo
por la Justicia y la Paz (2005 - actual).
15. Martha Lía Grajales Pineda, C.I. 29.565.914. Coordinadora Programa
Educación en DDHH - Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz (2008 -2009);
integrante de la Asamblea de la Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz.
16. Alejandra Guédez, C.I. 13.748.311. Antropóloga, productora
audiovisual e investigadora, con experiencia en comunidades indígenas y
afrodescendientes, consejos comunales, cultores populares, adolescentes
embarazadas, niños, niñas y jóvenes.
17. Maryluz Guillén Rodríguez, C.I. 11.557.841. Internacionalista,
miembra de la Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz (1993-actualmente).
Investigadora y docente de la Escuela de DD.HH "Juan Vives Suria" de la
Defensoría del Pueblo.
18. Erick Gutiérrez García, C.I. 6.976.990. Abogado, voluntario de
Clínicas Jurídicas (1987). Investigador de Provea. Secretario ejecutivo
del Capitulo venezolano de la Plataforma Interamericana de DD.HH.,
Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDDDH). Investigador y docente de la Escuela
de Derechos Humanos de la Defensoría del Pueblo.
19. Héctor Gutiérrez García, C.I. 6976989. Docente e investigador de la
Escuela DD.HH Juan Vives Suria 2011-2014.
20. María Lucrecia Hernández, C.I. 26.783.758, abogada y activista de
21. María Paula Herrero, C.I. 14.444.733, ejecutora del área de
Comunicación e Información, Provea (1989, 1996).
22. Antonio J. Marasciulo Davies, C.I. 15.394.380. Criminólogo, asesor
jurídico, miembro del equipo fundacional de la UNES (2010 hasta 2012).
23. Elba Martínez Vargas. C.I. 6.914.739. Internacionalista. Gerente del
Proyecto de Educación en Derechos Humanos de la Sección Venezolana de
Amnistía Internacional (1992-1993). Miembra del equipo de Provea
24. África Matute, C.I. 18.011.961. Abogada y activista de DDHH,
integrante del Programa de atención integral a personas víctimas, Red de
Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz (2010 - 2013).
25. Lilian Montero Rodríguez, C.I. 6.427.029. Socióloga y abogada;
promotora y defensora de los derechos de niños, niñas y adolescentes.
Cecodap (1991-2007), Coordinadora del Área de Derechos Colectivos y
Difusos del Consejo Nacional de los Derechos del Niño, Niña y
Adolescente (1999-2000); Miembro de la Asamblea de la Red de Apoyo por
la Justicia y la Paz (2009-2014).
26. Vicmar Morillo Gil, C. I. 7958276. Ejecutora del Área de Información
e Investigación de Provea (1993-1999/2000-2004). Integrante de la
Asamblea de la Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz.
27. María Teresa Quispe, C.I. 82.026.345. Coordinadora General del grupo
de trabajo socioambiental para la Amazonía "Wataniba".
28. Maureen Riveros, C.I. 6.280.434. Comunicadora y activista de DDHH,
Comité contra el olvido y por la vida. Provea (1999 - 2006).
29. Ileana Ruiz, C.I. 6.084.832. Comunicadora Social y miembro de la Red
de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz desde 1987: Educación en derechos
humanos, comunicación popular, uso alternativo del derecho y
rehabilitación de víctimas de tortura.
30. Bárbara Tineo Toro, C.I. 14.531.267. Trabajadora social y activista
31. Justino Urbina Vargas, C.I. 4.233.937, Educador y Comunicador
Popular, miembro fundador de Provea y miembro activo de esa organización
(1989 y 1995).
32. Belkis Urdaneta, C.I. 9.740.076. Miembro asociada de la Red de apoyo
por la justicia y la paz (1995-2014).
33. Rosinés Villalobos León, C.I. 10.474.725. Integrante de la Red de
Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz, (1996 -- 2005).
34. Asia Villegas Poljak, C.I. 6.355.311. Dra. en Ciencias Médicas.
Activista del movimiento de mujeres, en materia de salud y derechos
sexuales y reproductivos de la mujer. Defensora especial con competencia
nacional en las áreas de salud y seguridad social de la Defensoría del
Pueblo (2003 - 2004). Coordinadora de la comisión de derechos humanos y
garantías constitucionales de la Asamblea Constituyente (1999).
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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