Looks like the recent case of political payback in Maturin isn’t the only one.
Robert Ramos, who was until just days ago the mayor of El Vigía (Merida State’s second largest city) was detained days ago in Merida and will be charged for alleged influence peddling when he worked for the Agriculture Ministry (2001-2005).
Months ago, Mr. Ramos was not chosen by the PSUV to run for re-election in the recent local elections, so he decided to go alone anyway (with the support of the Communist Party). In his own words, he considered that the Chavismo’s national leadership simply ignored the decision of the local bases. In the end, the split between Chavistas allowed the MUD to win El Vigía by a sizable margin.
But looks like payback isn’t reserved to those who cost Chavismo several mayorships, but it will be used as well to set example within their ranks. Case in point, the former mayor of El Tocuyo (Lara State) Fidel Palma, who was detained by Military Intelligence and charged with (you guess it) corruption during his recently finished term.
Just like the case of Mr. Ramos, Mr. Palma was denied re-election and went on his own (supported by the small Juan Bimba party). But even if the PSUV won El Tocuyo without any trouble, he was punished anyway for breaking with Chavismo’s concept of discipline.
Well, looks like the term “war on corruption” is becoming synonym with “internal purge”.