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Visualize July

A few months ago, in the heat of the student protests, Quico wrote a post saying that, come May, the protest movement would have been forgotten. Among other things, by May, he said, “several high profile student movement leaders will be in jail, perhaps alongside some additional, household name politicians.” The student movement proved to…

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Postcards from El Rodeo III

  A few days ago 18-year-old Clider Martínez was taken in by the National Guard while protesting in Los Palos Grandes. After being processed he was sent to El Rodeo III, one of Latin America’s most dangerous prisons. Allegedly, Clider got the book thrown at him because he had been caught a few days earlier in one of…

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No shortage of tear gas

More than three months since the start of the protests, the excessive use of tear gas is the new normal, both in Caracas and right here in Barquisimeto. But not every incident involving tear gas here in Guaroristan is directly related to the demostrations. Let me explain… Last weekend, a local nightclub was celebrating its farewell party when…

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Know fear

The lingering question as we conclude Human Rights week is – why? What are the authorities looking for? Are they looking to stoke the protests? Do they want them to tire out? Is the goal to physically disappear key protestors? Or, perhaps, to repress completely, to simply take away Venezuelans’ fundamental rights thoroughly, such as was done in Cuba?…

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Power, impunity, and hacks

If there is one arm of the Venezuelan state apparatus that comes out looking like royal crap in the Human RIghts Watch report, it is the public prosecutors. In example after example, they are portrayed as being either complicit, or grossly incompetent. Routinely, charges are pressed on dubious evidence, possible misconduct is ignored, and a…

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Camera-shy monsters

One of the things that jumps out of the Human Rights Watch report is how our human rights violators seem to be fearful of appearing on video. As the report states: “In 13 of the cases we investigated, security forces targeted individuals who had been taking photographs or filming security force confrontations with protesters.” (P. 3)…

Orders from high up

It’s human rights week at Caracas Chronicles

The most recent report by Human Rights Watch on the protests in Venezuela comprehensibly dismantles the government’s line of defense on allegations of human rights abuses. In page after page of meticulous research the NGO documents a pattern of routinized human rights abuse, a finding with deep implications in International Human Rights Law. HRW has produced an investigative landmark and we just don’t…

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All because of a broken fingernail

(A reader sends us this translation of an interview with Marvinia Jiménez that appeared in El Carabobeño, a Valencia daily, a few weeks ago. Marvinia was brutally attacked at a protest, and is now charged with assaulting an officer) From El Carabobeño: Marvinia Jimenez, who was born with low mobility in half her body, has…

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Se llamaba SEBIN

Last friday, a SEBIN officer died in a showdown with Polichacao in the Prados del Este Highway. (SEBIN is the Venezuelan government intelligence service, while Polichacao is the municipal police force of opposition-controlled Chacao municipality) Polichacao claims it was responding to a kidnapping. SEBIN says Polichacao just opened fire without warning and that they were escorting…