[News] Understanding the Facts on Violence and Human Rights in Venezuela's Unrest

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 13 18:09:55 EDT 2014


  Understanding the Facts on Violence and Human Rights in Venezuela's Unrest

<http://venezuelanalysis.com/printmail/10474>http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10474
<http://venezuelanalysis.com/print/10474>

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 
explains that:

- 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.

A total 
<http://www.boletin.uc.edu.ve/index.php/entrevistas/1959-fiscalia-contabiliza-1-603-detenidos-durante-protestas> 
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 
for attention.

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 
<http://www.mpps.gob.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5729&Itemid=18> 
and psychological 
<http://www.mpps.gob.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5730&Itemid=18> 
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.

A total 
<http://www.boletin.uc.edu.ve/index.php/entrevistas/1959-fiscalia-contabiliza-1-603-detenidos-durante-protestas> 
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 
<http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/226820/ramirez-hemos-recibido-44-denuncias-por-el-derecho-a-la-integridad-fisica/> 
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 
<http://www.derechos.org.ve/2014/03/06/provea-sostuvo-reunion-con-fiscal-general-para-tratar-casos-de-violaciones-a-ddhh-en-el-pais/> 
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 
<http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/140309/defensora-tacho-a-guarimbas-de-trampas-caza-humanos> 
last weekend to security forces to fulfill all correct legal proceeding 
during arrests.

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 
<http://www.boletin.uc.edu.ve/index.php/entrevistas/1959-fiscalia-contabiliza-1-603-detenidos-durante-protestas> 
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 
occurred.

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 
February.

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 
their denouncements.

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 
the report.

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, 
an article 
<http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/10/venezuelan-protesters-san-cristobal-barricades-national-guard> 
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 
Alternative View*

/By Zoe Clara Dutka -- Venezuelanalysis.com/

A number of Venezuelan human rights groups joined together on February 
24th to organize a document 
<http://vainasverdes.blogspot.com/2014/02/situacion-de-los-derechos-humanos-en-la.html> 
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 
activity.

We highlight the following three points in an attempt to provide 
necessary context for those wishing to make an authentic analysis of the 
current situation.

*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 
reaching hospital.

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 
<http://www.elmundo.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/sucesos/tres-muertos-y-23-heridos-al-finalizar-marcha-estu.aspx> 
in Caracas.

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 
<http://www.el-nacional.com/sucesos/Fiscalia-Sebin-Bassil-Da-Costa_0_362963826.html> 
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 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/hablan-los-testigos--a-redman-le-dio-fue-un-tiro-a.aspx> 
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 
<http://www.periodico24.com/murio-joven-que-fue-atropellado-mientras-protestaba-en-carupano/noticia/51131/> 
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 
<http://www.notitarde.com/Valencia/Murio-Genesis-Carmona-estudiante-herida-de-bala-en-la-cabeza-durante-manifestacion-/2014/02/19/306552> 
and killed during an opposition march in Valencia, Carabobo state. 
Ultimas Noticias reported 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/sucesos/murio-genesis-carmona-modelo-herida-durante-protes.aspx> 
witnesses saying that a pro-government armed group had attacked the 
march. However, Interior Affairs Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres and 
other authorities later stated 
<http://albaciudad.org/wp/index.php/2014/02/rodriguez-torres-genesis-carmona-recibio-un-disparo-desde-su-propia-gente/> 
that ballistic investigations showed that Carmona was shot from behind 
<http://ojopelao.com/testigo-opositor-confirma-genesis-carmona-murio-por-bala-disparada-a-sus-espaldas-video/> 
"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 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/no-era-robamotos-dicen-familiares-de-asdrubal-rodr.aspx> 
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 
<http://albaciudad.org/wp/index.php/2014/02/conductora-de-zurda-konducta-responsabiliza-a-grupos-fascistas-por-la-muerte-de-su-madre/> 
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 
<http://www.laprensalara.com.ve/2014/02/20/asesinan-hermano-del-diputado-francisco-martinez/> 
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 
<http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/223656/muere-meridena-de-37-anos-que-se-trasladaba-en-moto-a-causa-de-una-alambrada/> 
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 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/sucesos/fallece-motorizado-por-guaya-colocada-en-barricada.aspx> 
(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 
allegedly shot 
<http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/223858/fallecio-la-joven-herida-por-perdigones-en-carabobo/> 
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 
<http://www.el-carabobeno.com/sucesos/articulo/76200/cicpc-inici-investigaciones-para-esclarecer-asesinato-de-geraldine> 
the incident, and have reportedly identified 
<http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/140310/familiares-de-geraldine-moreno-exigen-celeridad-en-la-investigacion> 
the officer responsible.

*13:* On 22 February, a student, *Danny Joel Melgarejo Vargas *(20), was 
stabbed 
<http://www.el-nacional.com/sucesos/Estudiante-muerto-rina-terceros_0_361164001.html> 
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 
<http://diariodelosandes.com/content/view/245755/105984/> that 
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 
been made 
<http://www.lanacion.com.ve/infogeneral/captura-cicpc-a-un-joven-de-16-anos-por-crimen-del-estudiante-de-iufront/> 
in connection with the incident.

*14:* On 23 February, *José Alejandro Márquez* (43), a systems engineer, 
was announced 
<http://www.eluniversal.com/sucesos/140224/fallece-ingeniero-golpeado-por-la-gnb-en-protesta-opositora> 
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 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/sucesos/investigan-a-siete-guardias-por-muerte-de-alejandr.aspx> 
in connection with the incident.

*15:* On 24 February, *Jimmy Vargas *(34), an anti government activist, 
fell from a rooftop 
<http://albaciudad.org/wp/index.php/2014/02/video-muestra-que-joven-tachirense-jimmy-vargas-murio-al-caer-accidentalmente-de-una-platabanda/> 
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 
National Guard.

*16:* On 24 February, a businessman, *Wilmer Jhonny Carballo *(43), was 
shot dead 
<http://globovision.com/articulo/fallece-un-hombre-en-el-estado-aragua-tras-recibir-disparo-en-la-cabeza> 
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 
<http://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2014/02/25/530d026f268e3e884a8b458b.html> 
that the bikers were from a pro-government group.

*17:* On 24 February, motorbike taxi worker *Antonio José Valbuena *(32) 
was shot 
<http://www.upatadigital.com.ve/matan-a-mototaxista-que-intento-quitar-escombros-en-vias-de-maracaibo> 
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 
<http://www.laverdad.com/politica/47196-presidenta-del-clez-denuncia-muerte-de-anciana-por-barricadas.html> 
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 
the barricades.

*19:* On 25 February, motorbike rider *Eduardo Anzola* (29) died 
<http://www.el-carabobeno.com/portada/articulo/76376/motorizado-muri-tras-impactar-contra-una-barricada-en-la-av.-michelena> 
when he crashed into an unseen street barricade at night in Valencia, 
Carabobo state.

*20:* On 28 February, a National Guard officer*, Giovanni Pantoja *(29) 
was reportedly shot 
<http://laiguana.tv/noticias/2014/02/28/12911/CONFIRMADO-FALLECIO-EN-UNA-EMBOSCADA-UN-GNB-AL-RECIBIR-UN-DISPARO-EN-UN-OJO-VIDEO.html> 
by an assailant while trying to clear burning tires 
<http://www.el-carabobeno.com/portada/articulo/76572/gnb-falleci-por-un-disparo-en-el-ojo-durante-manifestacin-en-el-trigal> 
from a road with fellow officers in Carabobo state.

*21*: On 3 March, student *Luis Gutiérrez Camargo* reportedly died 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/sucesos/un-muerto-en-tachira-al-chocar-contra-barricada.aspx> 
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 
<http://www.2001.com.ve/en-la-calle/muere-mototaxista-por-barricada.html> on 
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 
killed 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/sucesos/video---dos-muertos-en-enfrentamientos-en-los-ruic.aspx> 
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), 
died 
<http://www.el-nacional.com/sucesos/Reportan-motorizado-autopista-Francisco-Fajardo_0_368363285.html> 
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 
<http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/protestas-en-venezuela/140310/murio-mujer-en-una-barricada-en-merida> 
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 
<http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/protestas-en-venezuela/140310/muere-estudiante-en-tachira-tras-recibir-disparo-en-el-pecho> 
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 
<http://www.elsoldemargarita.com.ve/posts/post/id:129267/Fallece-GNB-y-estudiante-en-protestas-de-Valencia> 
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 
<http://www.elmundo.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/sucesos/ameliach-denuncia-muerte-de-capitan-de-la-gnb-en-n.aspx> 
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 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/ameliach-denuncia-muerte-de-capitan-de-la-gnb-dura.aspx> 
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

Sucre: 1

Lara: 1

Aragua: 1

*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 
Sánchez.

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 
change.

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 
<http://www.dattv.tv/portal/index.php/noticias/secciones/regionales/item/21144-fallecio-hombre-en-el-limon-estado-aragua-durante-saqueos> 
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 
accounts".

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 
<http://globovision.com/articulo/denuncian-ataque-a-vivienda-de-la-exministra-nancy-perez> 
"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 
shot 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/sucesos/dirigente-estudiantil-resulto-muerto-a-manos-del-h.aspx>, 
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 
<http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/politica/dos-jovenes-venezolanos-fueron-asesinados-anoche-evento-relacionados-protestas-opositoras/> 
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 
<http://www.noticiasvenezolanas.com.ve/index.php/716357/manejan-venganza-contra-un-tercero-en-caso-de-asesinato-de-estudiante-en-bolivar/> 
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 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/maduro-hay-30-fallecidos-por-enfermedades-respirat.aspx>  
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 
<http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/maduro-van-mas-de-50-muertos-por-las-guarimbas.aspx> 
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 - 
2012).
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 
(2006-2007).
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 
Diáspora Africana.
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 
derechos humanos.
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 
(1994-1996).
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 
de DD.HH.
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 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20140313/e403ce46/attachment.html>


More information about the News mailing list