Paging Miss Marple

I rest my case, Your Honor.

I rest my case, Your Honor.

A few weeks ago I was researching all the material I could find about Venezuela’s human rights violations, both pre- and post-Chávez. Lo and behold, I came across this report put out by the People’s Ombudsperson, the main human rights protection agency of the Venezuelan state, also known as the place where the “talented” Gabriela del Mar rules the roost.

The thing has to be seen to be believed.

The report does not beat around the bush. After a brief introduction, it starts out … with its main conclusions. Terrible things happened in Venezuela in the period going from 1958 to 1998. Human rights were “systematically” violated. This included basically all rights, including rights to meet, to life, to a home, to health, and even the rights of kids. There is no nuance there – it was a veritable nightmare.

I was eager to see how they would argue their case.

As I advanced further in the document, I realized the basis for their conclusions was simply a series of disorganized newspaper clippings, many of them illegible, from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

I kept advancing in the document, waiting to find some sort of analysis. For example, did they corroborate the information? Did they extrapolate from the amount of reasearch they did?

No. Their idea of “analysis” is simply a massive, highly selective dump from some microfilm, lost in the hidden archives of the National Library.

In doing this, the Defensoría has set an irresistibly low standard for itself. If this is what constitutes proof of “systematic” human rights violations, what will we do once this nightmare is over? Can we play this game too? ‘Cause if you give me a bit of time, I can produce an equally massive dump of newspaper clippings, blog posts, and other material, showing the hell that is chavista Venezuela.

I have no doubt that human rights were violated during this period. But the laziness with which this project was approached by the Defensoría is an affront to all the victims, no matter their political alliance.

Hack job doesn’t even begin to describe this report. This putridly banal document only confirms that chavismo’s worst sin may perhaps be its callous indifference to the very idea of “doing your job.”

31 thoughts on “Paging Miss Marple

  1. Fortunately, Miss Marple (in the shape of that gimlet-eyed investigator Luisa Ortega Díaz) is already on the case, Juan. Here’s what she had to say on the subject last month:

    “En el programa “En Sintonía con el Ministerio Público”, espacio transmitido por Radio Nacional de Venezuela, Ortega Díaz indicó que una denuncia no puede estar argumentada en recortes de prensa como lo han hechos algunas organizaciones internacionales pro derechos humanos.”

    Oh no, wait … she was talking about Human Rights Watch.

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    • Gaby’s not incompetent. She’s done exactly what was asked of her. And feathered her own nest in the process.

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  2. So, been devils advocate, how many opposition members around the news use a very cheap web pages like Maduradas.com or Dolartoday as their source of information? The vast majority of the people think that if you can find it on the internet it must be true.
    It doesn’t matter if it is real or not, you only have to publish bullshit with a very nice presentation and a big portion of the population will buy it. At the end, that’s what they want, right?

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    • Well, Pepe, we’re not creating a legal report on human rights, are we? There is a different standard one should meet for that than for, say, a blog post.

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    • “bullshit with a very nice presentation”
      That’s basically the reason people voted for the corpse in 1998.

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    • She wants to go to Disney without risking getting cuffed like the narcopollo (Who soiled and wetted his pants at the same time, several times, when he was caught)
      And maybe she threatened to overthrow maburro if he didn’t plug her, you know how spineless and stupid is that moron.

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  3. Sounds to me like they are excusing themselves with this. It’s like if they were stating they are not the only ones violating human rights, since former governments did it too. If not, why not include up to 2014. Why up to 1998?

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  4. One of the hilarious things about Venezuela (from an outsider’s perspective) is its human right’s officer. While political prisoners languish in jail without real defence or rights, the human rights officer puts together a scrapbook from previous days when society was much more mobile. Of course the new bolibourgeois certainly offended human rights while raping the country so they could be polo players in Miami. In the meanwhile the poor remain poor. LOL. Venezuela is such a joke. The poor have been duped. The sad thing is that the masses are complicit in the joke. Everyone else expects the US to solve the problem. IMHO this is a Venezuelan problem that needs Venezuelan heroes. Most are happy to watch TV while Lopez is denied rights. In the US, we would be marching in the streets.

    Cowards.

    Don’t expect help from the US while you remain in your living rooms.

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  5. By the way, my family escaped poverty in Venezuela and many of us ended up middle class prior to the disaster of Chavez. Some of us left and were successful in Spain, the US, Germany, and other corners of the world. Those that remained are now back in poverty. Those that left are middle class or better. Wake up Venezuela. Everyone outside of the country thinks you are a joke.

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  6. Its not everyone who is bothered by the current methodic violation of civil and political rights , this is secondary for most people unless they somehow become its direct victims , complain about these violations and half of the people will be totallly indifferent to those violations because they are happening in the ‘other side’ of their tribal political divide. Thats the sad truth , you cant pretend that a mayority of Venezuelans care about these issues so making too much about them might make you feel good and fair but not help you attract the popular support you need to do something effective about those violations . What people really care about is feeling beloved and brave because of the fiery noble causes they identify with and the bread and butter issues of being able to access the goods and services you need to lead a more comfortable life .!! We are more consumers , histrionic actors in a make believe epic play than people engrossed in the business of being responsible conscious citizens .!!

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    • “What people really care about is FEELING beloved and brave ”

      That is exactly what Chavez provided for them and that is why so many loved him so much.

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      • Do we have anyone in the opposition leadership that can make the poorest feel that he/she is ‘one of them’ , that he deeply and personally cares for them and is able to instill in them a feeling that they are grand, noble and mighty ?? whose speech appearance and gestures exhude a raw manly strenght and fierce fanatical conviction ?? . Its not the ideas , its not the economic model , its not the spousal of civil and political liberties , its not the promise of a much more better managed government that attracts these people . Its the emotional packaging !!

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      • No.
        What resented people wanted, was some scapegoat to blame for EVERY bad thing that has happened to them and their ancestors.
        THAT’S what the corpse gave them, since the commies started to forcefeed them those stupidity since the 60s.
        That’s where the seething hatred against the middle class in Venezuela comes from.

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  7. The laziness. Unbelievable. Out of curiosity the first article I decided to read had a misleading title: “They broke his skull”… close to the end of the article we find ” head trauma and possible skull fracture”.

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  8. Juan,
    It’s a mistery to me how Venezuela’s society hasn’t insisted on a clear investigation of the Caracazo, which is the main excuse Chavistas used for their bloody coup.

    Virtually all Venezuelans had ID’s back then. We don’t have a list of missing people and yet Chavismo claims, based on a very wobbly report from an NGO, that from 250 corpses you could derive 5000.

    We don’t ask questions about who killed Felipe Antonio Acosta Carlez and on what side they both were.
    We don’t ask questions about how many officers from the GN and the army were involved, only about the top echelons.

    Alliegro & Perez couldn’t killed on their own 250 people, much less 5000

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    • “It’s a mistery to me how Venezuela’s society hasn’t insisted on a clear investigation of the Caracazo, which is the main excuse Chavistas used for their bloody coup.”
      Because the plunderings of february 27 of 1989 (I’m not using those stupid nicknames) were part of a plan by castro to topple and bring down Venezuela’s democratic government.
      The son of a bitch even smuggled hundreds of weapons using diplomatic immunity, while the idiots of the government have been infiltrated by communist agents since the 60s after they killed and screwed a lot of people in Venezuela.
      That shitbag has been attacking Venezuela since he got to power in the 59 and Betancourt told him to mind his own country instead of coming here (Cause he knew the fucker was looking for free oil here).

      It’s like the murders in april 11, one serious investigation would irrefutably prove that every single person there was murdered by orders of the corpse, who sent all the gunners to slaughter unarmed citizens.

      In few words, that would mean to kill, incinerate, pee, shit and bury the chavismo for good.

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  9. Just out of curiosity, has anyone had the stomach to check these articles out and see if they cover the human rights abuses, pre-Chavez, of higher ups in the current regime and its narco-military wing? Now THAT would be incompetence from the defender of the pueblo!

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    • I did see that some of the people quoted in the article (i.e. Américo Martín) denouncing human rights abuses in the past are also denouncing human rights abuses now.

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  10. “1958-1998″… That would imply there were no human rights violations under the regime of Hugo’s hero, Marcos Pérez Jiménez.

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  11. The bitter irony reflected on page 37 of the report, displaying a quote from the Clarín —they lean on this third rate newspaper as a primary source— Gobierno opuesto a que el Congreso investigue torturas.

    Thank goodness they had the decency to make it clear that the “report” only covered 1958-1998.

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    • The irony just doesn’t stop … also in the report: the Cantaura and Caño Las Coloradas massacres, both of which have high ranking members of this “government” as perpetrators.

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  12. Imagine that! An underdeveloped country without the needed institutional quality to carry out a more exhaustive investigation into past abuses…. Way to hit a home run on this one JC… Surely when the opposition gets back into power these institutional deficiencies will quickly disappear.

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    • I don’t know if you have noticed but this underdeveloped country has access to an astonishingly large class of well trained, internationally accredited citizens capable of investigating and prosecuting crimes, who are instead either delegated file clerk responsibilities, pushed out to the private sector, or asked to put together scrap books and the equivalent, like this one, that have no purpose except to mollify know-nothings like you.

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