Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Anti-Chavez protesters tortured - murdered
The Guardian ^ | February 20, 2003 | Owain Johnson in Caracas

Posted on 02/20/2003 11:48:56 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Three dissident Venezuelan military officers and a young woman have been found dead after apparently being kidnapped, tortured and killed, for what some people fear may have been political motives.

A fifth victim, a 14-year-old girl, survived the attack and is in intensive care.

The three men were part of a group of rebel officers who had declared themselves opposed to the leftwing president, Hugo Chavez.

The officers had been occupying the Plaza Altamira, in the capital's wealthy eastern suburbs, since late October.

Witnesses told police that the group was kidnapped near the Plaza in the early hours of Sunday morning. Armed men reportedly forced them into two cars and drove away.

A farm worker discovered the bodies of Zaida Peroza, 28, a tourism graduate, and Felix Pinto, 25, an air force officer, and the 14-year-old Rosana Rivero on the side of a road east of Caracas on Sunday morning.

Rosana Rivero was still alive and was taken to a nearby hospital, where her condition is described as critical.

The bodies of naval officer Angel Salas and infantryman Darwin Arguello, both 21, were discovered in a park east of the city on Monday afternoon.

All the four dead were found bound and gagged.

Police gave the cause of death as multiple shotgun wounds, and added that the bodies showed additional injuries consistent with the use of torture.

The leader of the dissident military officers, General Enrique Medina Gomez, said the officers were part of a group which took turns to keep watch over the square. He described the murders as "a crime against humanity".

Salas' brother Edwin, who is also a rebel naval officer, said the dissidents' public stand against the Chavez government had made them many enemies.

He said he and his brother had been subjected to constant intimidation since deciding to join the protests.

Mr Salas accused elements within the Venezuelan police and intelligence services of "persecuting" dissident officers. He said that they had also received violent threats from the Bolivarian Circles - groups of pro-government activists - and from the far-left Tupamaro group.

"The murder of my brother and his friends was carefully planned," Mr Salas said. "Everything about the way it was carried out points to a political motive."

Many of the senior military officers involved in the protests in the Plaza Altamira were involved in the short-lived coup against President Chavez last April.

The dissidents accuse Mr Chavez of authoritarianism and of using the armed forces to bolster his social reform projects. They also allege that Mr Chavez's "Bolivarian revolution" in favour of the poor masks a long-term project to introduce Cuban-style socialism to the oil-rich nation.

Despite international mediation, the political divide between Chavez supporters and opponents has widened since last April's coup, and the opposition recently held a damaging two-month strike with the aim of forcing the president's resignation.

As political tension has grown, violent incidents between the two sides have become increasingly common.

Government and opposition representatives signed an agreement on Tuesday to tone down verbal attacks on one another, but it remains unclear what influence this will have on their supporters.

The head of Venezuela's human rights association, Rafael Narvaez, who is representing the families of the four latest dead, said he had little hope that those responsible would be caught or punished.

"There are no credible institutions left any more, and there is currently no rule of law or due process in Venezuela," he said. "We will push as hard as we can for the authorities to investigate the murders, but if we hit a brick wall, we will ask the international community to apply pressure," Mr Narvaez said.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: communism; hugochavez; latinamericalist; terrorism; venezuela
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-38 next last
Government and opposition representatives signed an agreement on Tuesday to tone down verbal attacks on one another, but it remains unclear what influence this will have on their supporters.

It had no influence on Hugo Chavez or his supporters.

A secret police officer stands outside the station where opposition leader Carlos Fernandez is under arrest in Caracas, February 20, 2003. State security police captured the business chief who led a strike against President Hugo Chavez after a judge ordered him and a union boss detained for rebellion. REUTERS/Chico Sanchez

Feb 21, 2003 - Arrest prompts fears of Chávez crackdown - By Andy Webb-Vidal in Caracas [Full Text]

Venezuela's government stepped up what appeared to be a retaliatory crackdown on opponents of President Hugo Chávez on Thursday with the arrest of the business leader who led a two-month strike aimed at forcing the president's resignation.

Carlos Fernández, head of the Fedecamaras business federation, was captured by a group of heavily armed men outside a restaurant, witnesses said, and taken to the headquarters of the Disip political police in Caracas.

A judge said a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Mr Fernández on charges of "treason" and "civil rebellion". A similar warrant was also issued for Carlos Ortega, leader of the main labour union, which backed the strike in December and January.

Opposition leaders condemned the detention as evidence that Mr Chávez was drifting towards "dictatorship" and embarking on a "campaign of intimidation". Government legislators said the arrest followed correct legal procedures.

Mr Chávez, emboldened by his survival after the stoppage, has promised to jail the strike's organisers for "sabotaging" the economy and has warned that exchange controls will be used to deprive opposition-aligned businesses of foreign currency.

The strike at Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), which is producing only about half of the 3m barrels a day from before the strike, has left what was the world's fifth-largest oil-exporting economy facing a contraction of at least 15 per cent this year.

Rafael Alfonzo, an opposition negotiator in talks intended to defuse Venezuela's political deadlock, said Mr Fernández's arrest undermined an anti-violence pact signed only two days ago with the government.

The agreement was the first breakthrough in three months of negotiations backed by the Organisation of American States aimed at finding an electoral solution to the tensions between Mr Chávez and opposition groups.

Mr Fernández's arrest comes a day after Washington-based Human Rights Watch urged the Venezuelan government to investigate the murder of four opposition supporters this week.

The bodies of three junior military staff and a civilian woman who had joined dissident officers pressing for Mr Chávez's resignation were found dumped on a roadside outside Caracas.

"The circumstances strongly suggest that these were political killings," said José Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch. [End]

JIMMY CARTER/UN NO-VIOLENCE PACT [Full Text] Humberto Márquez,Inter Press Service

CARACAS, Feb 18 (IPS) - The government and the opposition in Venezuela signed a joint declaration Tuesday against political violence, the first tangible achievement since César Gaviria, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, began as mediator more than three months ago in negotiations for a way out of the country's political crisis.

In the eight-point 'Declaration against violence and in favor of peace and democracy,' the two sides announce their commitment to dismantle the tensions that have pervaded the political sphere in Venezuela over the last few years, and reiterate their commitment to the Constitution and democratic law.

In the statement, representatives of the Hugo Chávez administration and of the opposition reject verbal "intemperance," mutual recriminations, hurtful language and "rhetoric that in any way encourages confrontation."

The two sides propose instead "a language of mutual respect, tolerance, consideration of others' ideas, and the supreme appreciation of human life and dignity."

The tripartite group, comprising the OAS, the U.S.-based Carter Center, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which is facilitating the dialogue, had repeatedly urged the two sides to "lower their tone" and "moderate the language" of their political discourse.

Similar efforts were made by the so-called "Group of Friends," countries backing the OAS effort in Venezuela. The group was established in January by the foreign ministries of Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and the United States.

The second point of Tuesday's joint declaration states that violence in any form, regardless of who perpetrates it, is "absolutely unjustifiable."

The two sides "summon all authorities and competent administrative and juridical bodies to act to investigate and penalize the loss of human lives."

In the last year, the death toll resulting from political violence in Venezuela has reached more than 80, with hundreds of people injured. During the social chaos associated with the failed coup d'état in April 2002, 61 people died, according to the non-governmental Venezuelan Human Rights Education-Action Program.

Street demonstrations or political rallies in Caracas, whether supporting the Chávez government or the opposition, another 10 people have died. In rural Venezuela, several peasant leaders have been assassinated.

Tuesday's declaration rejects all expressions of violence, intolerance or vengeance.

Six government delegates and six delegates from the opposition Democratic Coordinator, the document's signatories, exhorted the Venezuelan people to cease any "direct or indirect attitude of aggression, threat, harassment or violence," and urged churches, trade unions and all social organizations to help in the effort.

During the past year, opposition protesters and pro-Chávez demonstrators have clashed in the streets of Caracas, and military officials are staying away from certain public places, such as restaurants in middle-class neighborhoods, because they are subjected to insults or surrounded by crowds of residents banging pots and pans.

The point in the declaration that required most effort to achieve consensus is about the communications media. The text calls on journalistic enterprises to "promote peace, tolerance and peaceful coexistence" in their programming and to comply with and exercise their constitutional and legal rights and duties.

The privately owned media championed the cause of the opposition during the two-month anti-Chávez strike that ended earlier this month. Television stations, for example, replaced normal advertising for political propaganda against the government.

And the government followed suit, using state-run television and radio stations to disseminate its messages.

The declaration's signatories are now obligated "to maintain and improve the work" of the negotiations panel, which "with this declaration approaches the possibility of an electoral way out" of the crisis, opposition leader Humberto Calderón told IPS.

The delegates also agree to take up related issues, such as setting up a Truth Commission to clear up the events surrounding the April 2002 coup and deaths, and disarming the civilian population--demanded by the opposition, which claims that many government supporters are carrying weapons illegally.

"The dialogue had started at the end, and with the Tuesday declaration we have returned to the beginning, and the road has been cleared so we can discuss anything," commented Vice-President José Vicente Rangel.

He was referring to the opposition's insistence on an "electoral" way out of the political crisis--such as a referendum on Chávez's mandate--while the word order in the declaration is "peaceful, democratic, constitutional and electoral."

Andrés Cova, representing the anti-Chávez trade unions in the negotiations, says he is confident that "with this accord we can find an electoral solution in the middle term."

The opposition is seeking a constitutional amendment to declare an end to Chávez's presidential term, which lasts until 2006, and to convene new elections this year.

After the six delegates from each side signed the joint declaration, representatives from the OAS, the Carter Center and UNDP added their signatures.[End]


The media, already under fire (as in bullets) will be shut down next. Hugo Chavez - Venezuela


Chavez arresting opposition - allies say more arrests pending - Chavez: "I went to bed smiling"*** CARACAS, Venezuela - Thousands of government opponents staged a street rally on Thursday to protest the arrest of opposition leader Carlos Fernandez, who faces charges of treason and instigating violence. Chanting "Free Fernandez!" and "This is a dictatorship!" while waving red, yellow and blue Venezuelan flags, angry demonstrators marched round an air force base in eastern Caracas. Songs calling for peace boomed from loudspeakers while motorists honked horns.

President Hugo Chavez, speaking at the presidential palace, said he gave secret police the green light to detain Fernandez. "One of the coup plotters was arrested last night. It was about time, and see how the others are running to hide," Chavez triumphed. "I went to bed with a smile." Chavez said judges shouldn't "be afraid to issue arrest warrants against coup-plotters." Government opponents at the rally accused the former paratroop commander of trying to establish a Cuban-style dictatorship in this South American nation of 24 million.

"This is an escalation of violence by the government, which has arrived at the extreme of repression," said Carlos Feijoo, 88, a retired oil worker at the demonstration. "He wants to copy Fidel (Castro)." Government allies warned that more than 100 opposition leaders - ranging from labor bosses to news media executives - who supported a two-month strike to oust Chavez could also be arrested.***

1 posted on 02/20/2003 11:48:56 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: All
*** A judge said a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Mr Fernández on charges of "treason" and "civil rebellion". A similar warrant was also issued for Carlos Ortega, leader of the main labour union, which backed the strike in December and January.***


Chavez couldn't get his man elected as head of the union over Carlos Ortega.


October 23, 2001 Chávez's choice likely to lose union-post vote - By CHRISTINA HOAG ***CARACAS -- After winning control of most of Venezuela's political institutions, President Hugo Chávez will probably fail this week in his attempt to take control of the country's labor unions, among the last bastions of opposition.

On Thursday, about 1.1 million unionized workers are slated to head to the polls to elect a new president of the Venezuelan Workers' Confederation (CTV).


It's a vote long advocated by Chávez as a facet of his ``peaceful revolution'' to do away with corruption in the country's institutions and install social justice.

But despite the president's triumph in last December's referendum -- which asked Venezuelans whether they wanted elections in the CTV -- the final result is not expected to go as Chávez envisioned.

If the president's handpicked candidate, former Caracas Mayor Aristóbulo Istúriz, loses, as analysts predict, it will mark Chávez's first defeat at the polls in the eight elections held in Venezuela since November 1998.

``This is a turning point for Chávez,'' says political scientist and author Anibal Romero. ``The defeat is going to be symbolic, marking a descent in the Chávez myth.'' ***

November 19, 2001 - Labor Chief: We Won't Destabilize-- By FABIOLA SANCHEZ, AP [Text] CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - The newly elected president of Venezuela's largest labor union said Monday that his organization won't become a vehicle for the fractured opposition to destabilize President Hugo Chavez's government.

Carlos Ortega was sworn in Monday as president of the 1 million-member Confederation of Venezuelan Workers after defeating government-backed Aristobulo Isturiz.

The union is the only bastion of political dissent in Venezuela, where Chavez's allies have gained control of Congress, the Supreme Court and most state governments in democratic elections. Chavez considers the shake-up the start of a revolution to rebuild Venezuela after decades of corrupt governments.

``The president can relax. It will not be the CTV that fills the void of opposition to the government,'' Carlos Ortega told a news conference. ``We will not be an appendix of any party. We will act in defense of workers and their families.''

But Ortega also threatened to call for ``civil disobedience'' if the Supreme Court annuls the vote in a case introduced by Isturiz. Isturiz argues the elections should be held again because of stolen election materials, numerous fraud allegations and violent scuffles between pro-government and opposition factions.

The elections were drawn out over three weeks because of the disorder.

Ortega, an ardent government critic who led a successful four-day oil strike for higher pay last year, won with 57 percent of the votes. Isturiz obtained 16 percent of the votes, and another opposition candidate, Alfredo Ramos, won 11 percent. Two other candidates won less than 10 percent each.

Ortega's victory is a political defeat for Chavez, who had hoped to oust the opposition from a union whose former leaders were accused of representing two unpopular political parties rather than workers' interest.

Some analysts have predicted increased labor unrest under Ortega, as the government struggles with billions of dollars of unpaid state wages and pensions - a debt inherited from past administrations. [End]

2 posted on 02/20/2003 11:52:29 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
February 14, 2003Anti-Chavez student tortured by police, says head of Venezuela's central university [Full Text] CARACAS, Venezuela - Secret police tortured a university student who participated in a youth protest against President Hugo Chavez, the rector of the Central University of Venezuela alleged Thursday. A high-ranking official of the Interior Ministry, which oversees the federal secret police, denied the claim. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity.

University Rector Giuseppe Gianetto told Union Radio that 18-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, an international studies major, was kidnapped by agents as he left an opposition youth protest in Caracas on Wednesday. Sanchez was blindfolded, beaten and burned with an object before agents released him early Thursday in a Caracas slum, Gianetto said. Sanchez was under the protective custody of university attorneys who were filing a complaint with the attorney general's office.

"This kind of vile and cowardly torture hasn't been seen in this country for a long time," said Gianetto. "Not even youths can use their constitutional rights to go out and protest peacefully."

"There wasn't any detention of any student," the Interior Ministry official said in a telephone interview.[End]

3 posted on 02/20/2003 11:54:35 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Chavez' favorite butt buddies really stepped in it... it seems that FARC captured some of our agents/ops folks... and killed at least one. They are about to discover the true meaning of black ops.

I do look for things to heat up locally in CA, as Castro's sock puppets have taken a bite out of an apple, that was filled with razor blades. Chavez had better do his dirty work quick... his time on this earth is short... I strongly suspect.

plop plop fizz fizz... oh what a relief it is...
4 posted on 02/20/2003 11:57:49 PM PST by Robert_Paulson2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Robert_Paulson2
Thanks for the post. Here's some of that coverage.

Colombia - Two in plane shot at close range - FARC holding 3 Americans [Full Text] FLORENCIA, Colombia -- An American and a Colombian whose bodies were found in the wreckage of a U.S. antidrug plane were shot to death at close range "in an act of extreme cruelty," Colombia's top general said Friday.

The U.S. State Department said three other people in the aircraft, all Americans, may have been taken hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

"We have reliable reports that crew members are being held by the terrorist group the FARC," State Department spokesman Charles Barclay said Friday in Washington. "If these reports are accurate, we demand the crew members be released unharmed immediately."

The bodies of an American and a Colombian were found in the wreckage of the plane. Gen. Jorge Mora, chief of the Colombian armed forces, told reporters both were "executed, in an act of extreme cruelty." Both died from the gunshot wounds, said Alonso Velasquez, director of the attorney general's office in Florencia.

The identities of those aboard haven't been released.

The single-engine Cessna plane went down Thursday in rebel territory in southern Colombia where the United States has backed a massive campaign in the region to locate and destroy the drug crops with aerial fumigation. Plantations of coca -- the main ingredient of cocaine -- are prevalent in this region of humid plains and jungle-covered mountains.

According to one report based on a radio interception, rebels quickly arrived on the scene of the plane crash and captured the survivors.

The State Department said the plane was a U.S. counter-drug aircraft.

President Alvaro Uribe lamented the deaths of "two people aboard the plane -- a sergeant in our army and an American citizen -- whose murders have been confirmed in the south of the country."

"There is a massive effort under way in a very unfriendly part of the country," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said in Washington.

The Americans were contractors for the U.S. military's Southern Command, which oversees military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. government officials said in Washington. The U.S. Embassy said the plane crashed eight minutes before its scheduled arrival in Florencia, a provincial capital.

Colombian troops and U.S. officials continued their desperate search Friday for the survivors. DynCorp, a U.S. State Department contractor involved in anti-drug missions in Colombia, said Thursday that it was helping in the rescue effort.

Four Colombian soldiers involved in the rescue effort were reported injured by rebel land mines.

"The rebels have a large part of the area mined to stop troops from coming in," said Capt. Lida Zambrano, spokeswoman for the Colombian army's 12th Brigade. [End]

5 posted on 02/21/2003 12:13:26 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
plane went down Thursday in rebel territory in southern Colombia where the United States has backed a massive campaign...
roflmao... they have NO idea of what "massive campaign" means... but I suspect they will get a good idea of it rather soon. As we are about to FRY their counterparts in the middle east, malaysia, the phillipines and north korea... pretty much all at once.

when farc is wiped out... castro will have spent all his money, and all of our cocaine dollars, on yet another failed communista adventure.

Chavez has allied himself with Senor Satan... and his end will be very very bitter. He should never have come back. He has played the fool... and will pay the price for that decision.

God save the good people in Venezuela... and protect them till the time for change in the region is ripe... lets hope it doesn't take us 12 years to step up to the plate in our own hemisphere...

6 posted on 02/21/2003 12:29:42 AM PST by Robert_Paulson2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Thanks for the post. This makes me ill.
7 posted on 02/21/2003 12:30:55 AM PST by marron
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marron
It is bad.
8 posted on 02/21/2003 12:35:32 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

NATIONAL "POLICE SUSPECT CANADIANS IN IRAQI SMUGGLING" (ARTICLE SNIPPET: "Two Canadians suspected of trying to smuggle eight Iraqis into the United States were deported to Toronto on Friday after being held in Jamaica for four days. A Jamaican official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Ali Hussein Dalloul, 29, and Mazin Odish, 26, both of Windsor, Ont., may have been trying to smuggle the Iraqis into Canada or the United States via Cuba, Jamaica and Belize, using false travel documents. No one has been charged with a crime.") (February 17, 2003)

***An Interesting Discussion on regarding an article: "10 IRAQIS DETAINED IN JAMAICA WERE HEADED TO BELIZE" ( ARTICLE SNIPPET: "Jamaican police are remaining tight-lipped about the status of ten Iraqis who are being held in Montego Bay. The men arrived in the resort town on Sunday and were in transit on route to Belize. They flew into Jamaica on a flight from Cuba before becoming stranded after their flight to Belize from Jamaica was cancelled.") (February 13, 2003)

*** - THE MIAMI HERALD: "FOUR CUBAN BORDER GUARDS ARRIVE IN KEYS UNDETECTED" by Jennifer Babson (ARTICLE SNIPPET: "KEY WEST - Four armed defectors from Cuba's border guard, clad in green camouflage and black boots, walked onto Key West's main drag after arriving undetected early Friday -- the same day that the U.S. attorney general put the nation on a heightened state of terrorist alert. The men tied their 30-foot go-fast boat behind the Hyatt Key West Resort and Marina, stashing it within a short distance of the Coast Guard station, which failed to spot their 4 a.m. arrival. Police found two AK-47s and eight magazines of ammunition inside the Cigarette speedboat. The incident occurred six days after five Cuban fishermen in a large rickety boat landed on U.S. Naval property close to a cruise ship.") (February 8, 2003)



An Informative Discussion on regarding this article on by Johan Freitas, in Caracas, with Luis Garcia, in Miami: "9-11: CHAVEZ FINANCED AL QAEDA, DETAILS OF $1M DONATION EMERGE" (123102) -- Updated February 19, 2003.

9 posted on 02/21/2003 12:39:20 AM PST by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cindy
10 posted on 02/21/2003 12:44:21 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
All this info is starting to come together and it's a real eye-opener. Like Zimbabwe though, one must ask, "Where's the so-called main-stream media?"
11 posted on 02/21/2003 12:48:48 AM PST by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Cindy
Like Zimbabwe though, one must ask, "Where's the so-called main-stream media?"

They're on the sidelines cheering on these dictators who oppress and murder.

12 posted on 02/21/2003 12:58:41 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Communism, one hundred million dead and still counting.
13 posted on 02/21/2003 12:58:49 AM PST by fella
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fella
***No matter how great the crimes progressives commit, no matter how terrible the future they labor to create, no matter how devastating the catastrophes they leave behind, the world outside the faith seems ever ready to forgive them their "mistakes" and to grant them the grace of "good intentions." *** David Horowitz
14 posted on 02/21/2003 1:00:39 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
You do fine work, lady. Makes this old Viet Nam boy proud to be your countryman.
15 posted on 02/21/2003 1:09:50 AM PST by Iris7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Iris7
Well, I'm proud to be in your company.
16 posted on 02/21/2003 1:12:16 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Robert_Paulson2
I'm with you 100%. Wish I were younger.
17 posted on 02/21/2003 1:12:53 AM PST by Iris7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Robert_Paulson2
God save the good people in Venezuela... and protect them till the time for change in the region is ripe... lets hope it doesn't take us 12 years to step up to the plate in our own hemisphere...


18 posted on 02/21/2003 1:15:11 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: All
Venezuelan opposition leader held ***The judge who issued the arrest warrant for Fernández, Maikel José Moreno, listed a series of accusations against him, including treason, rebellion and criminal conspiracy. Moreno was only recently appointed a judge, after acting as the defense lawyer for one of the pro-government gunmen involved in the firefight that preceded the April coup.


According to spokesmen for Fedecámaras, the armed men who detained the business leader presented neither identification nor a warrant.

They fired into the air to disperse a small crowd before arresting Fernández.

Ombudsman German Mundarain -- regarded by the opposition as a government sympathizer -- said police ''wore vests identifying them as DISIP'' and told the business leader he was under arrest.

Sonia Fernández, the business leader's wife, said she was able to speak to him, that he was physically unharmed and was talking with lawyers.

Lawyer Jesus Ramon Quintero said under the country's new penal code, Fernández could be held for 45 days before being formally charged.

''This is the first time a major opposition figure has been treated this way,'' Quintero said, adding that there were ``plenty of indications that this is political.''

'The oil workers' leaders should prepare themselves,'' he warned. ``Next week they could all be arrested.''

The latest moves come just days after the torture and murder, in circumstances that have yet to be clarified, of three soldiers and a young woman involved in a four-month-old anti-government protest by military officers.***

19 posted on 02/21/2003 1:38:52 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
The Reign of Terror has begun.
20 posted on 02/21/2003 4:21:17 AM PST by William McKinley (You're so vain, you probably think this tagline's about you)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-38 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson