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Marcelo Crovato, Jailed for Defending Human Rights, Gets House Arrest

After ten months behind bars, laywer Marcelo Crovato was released yesterday from the notoriously violent Yare III Prison. He’s been put under house arrest by the order of a local court. Crovato was arrested back in April while defending Chacao residents whose houses were raided by the authorities. His personal situation worsened as his trial was delayed. He could hardly…

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Revolutionary TPlomacy

It hasn’t been an easy week for Nicolas Maduro here at home, so he decided to go back to his old hobby for a spot of foreign affairs. On the agenda: a visit to our Caribbean neighbors, Trinidad and Tobago. Heading a delegation of ninety-five, Maduro met with the T&T Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (who, btw, is facing a political crisis…

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The sudden rise of the bodyguards

They say crisis is half opportunity. And, indeed, what you see as an unrelenting crime wave, looks like an opportunity to the bodyguard industry. This week, two dispatches cover the issue and offer an inside look in the world of bodyguards (known here as escoltas) and their personal experiences. First up, Associated Press’ Hannah Dreier meets Julio Delgado, who works…

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Red justice goes after one of its own

Anyone remember the case of “businessman”/druglord Walid Makled? This week, he was finally sentenced to 14 years and 6 months in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering, but he was also absolved of other charges. The General Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz isn’t happy with the decision, and announced that the Public Ministry will appeal it…

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Hegemony goes global

Since the efforts of lobbyists and PSFs are not yielding positive results lately, the central government has decided to take a new direct approach in the “media war”: the Vice-Ministry of International Communication, under control of the Communication & Information Ministry (MinCI). The mission of this new Vice-Ministry will be to not only present the government’s side…