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UNASUR Holds Caracas Debate over Security Policies and Human Rights

The Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, said that the event was aimed at “strengthening discussing, understanding public policies related to human rights” in Venezuela and member countries.

High level officials and figures from member countries of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) held a meeting in Caracas to hold a Regional Summit on Development and Citizen Security Public Policies Relating to Human Rights.  This meeting took place at the National Experimental University for Security (UNES), which is located in the western part of the city.

The Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, said that the event was aimed at “strengthening discussing, understanding public policies related to human rights” in Venezuela and member countries.

During the meeting, which was broadcast on television, Rodríguez Torres stressed that between 1948 and until 1999, the Venezuelan state violated the human rights of the people using its security forces.

 

Cases of Human Rights Violations in Venezuela from 1948-1998

Rordríguez Torres spoke about that era’s intelligence agency, DISIP, who used to systematically disappear, torture and assassinate Venezuelans for political reasons.

He noted that the institution no longer exists and was replaced by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin), which came about through a deep process of restructuring that took place during the tenure of President Hugo Chávez.

The Minister also explained that Venezuela’s Office of the Public Prosecutor has a Fundamental Rights Section relentlessly goes after “officials who violate human rights, which is how things should be and they should go even further, because no official is authorized or is given orders to violate anyone’s human rights.”

He then mentioned the Cantaura Massacre, which took place in 1982, and said it was emblematic of violations of human rights perpetrated by the state at the time.

“They bombed them with war planes and after having bombed them for several hours … against a group of no more than thirty people meeting in a home, DISIP helicopters, led by Henry López Cisco, flew by and launched explosives where they were meeting and gunned down citizens that were meeting there for reasons that were political,” he recalled.

Rodríguez Torres also referred to the Yumare Massacre of May 8, 1986, during the presidency of Jaime Lusinchi.  The DISIP, again led by Henry López Cisco, assassinated nine Venezuelans for political reasons. “After torturing them, getting information and doing whatever they wanted, they killed them,” he said.

The Minister emphasized that both cases of human rights violations are under investigation by the Office of the Public Prosecutor.

 

Daktari Case of 2004

Regarding the capture of 150 Colombian paramilitary members on the Daktari ranch in Miranda state in 2004, the Minister emphasized that their human rights were respected despite the fact that they had violated the country’s sovereignty and planned to assassinate then-President Hugo Chávez.

“The maturity public officials must have to be able to do so and to know that the law must be applied is what we have promoted since Commander Chávez arrived in 1999, up to today, with President Nicolás Maduro,” Rodríguez said.

 

Correo del Orinoco / Press – Venezuelan Embassy in the US / August 27, 2014

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