Archive for March 11th, 2004

A desaparecido reappears, thanks God

March 11, 2004

 


Miguel Pacheco, one of the people that had disappeared during the protests, was found alive yesterday in Puerto Ordaz, miles away from Cumana were he was abducted. He spent a week sedated and with a blindfold. He says he was threatened with death for the whole weeks by his abductors.


 


Pacheco, a student leader for opposition party AD, went to the University a week ago, but never arrived. He called a friend to tell him that some “guards” were following him and he was hiding at home but will somehow make the meeting. He also called his girlfriend, but never arrived at the meeting.


 


With the surfacing of Pacheco, there are still seven desaparecidos in Venezuela whose names are: Omar Arturo Morales (28); Juan José Pérez (27); Juan Ernesto Sánchez (37); Andrés Bastidas Guedes (32) ; José Luis Rodríguez (33); Eduardo José Miranda (30) y Julio César Gómez (34).


 


Where are the desaparecidos German Mundarain? Do you even care?

A suspicious request

March 11, 2004

 


The Superintendency of Banks asked today a group of banks that comprise 72% of all deposits in the local banking system, to send a list by tomorrow of all clients that have checking accounts, savings accounts or CD’s in their banks. The banks that received the requests were Banesco, Mercantil, Venezuela, provincial, Occidental de Descuento, Venezolano de Credito and Industrial.


 


According to the new Superintendent of Banks, this request is being made :because we are carrying out an operation against money laundering” while bank executives say that in order to look for money laundering you ask for suspicious transfers, not for balances. A more intelligent observer suggests that the real reason is to send the information to the tax office and other state offices “in order to increase control over everything” That one I believe.


 


First the bankers argued that this broke their confidentiality agreement with their clients. They can provide information, but there has to be a reason to do it. But then, the President of the private banker’s association said this had all been a “confusion” that the data hand over had been postponed and this was all part of a multilateral program.


 


You have to be stupid to ask for that just when there are strong rumors of an Argentina style “Corralito” (which I don’t believe is in the works”


 


Funny, the only reason that I would have thought would justify such a request, has not been mentioned: FIGHTING CORRUPTION!

A suspicious request

March 11, 2004

 


The Superintendency of Banks asked today a group of banks that comprise 72% of all deposits in the local banking system, to send a list by tomorrow of all clients that have checking accounts, savings accounts or CD’s in their banks. The banks that received the requests were Banesco, Mercantil, Venezuela, provincial, Occidental de Descuento, Venezolano de Credito and Industrial.


 


According to the new Superintendent of Banks, this request is being made :because we are carrying out an operation against money laundering” while bank executives say that in order to look for money laundering you ask for suspicious transfers, not for balances. A more intelligent observer suggests that the real reason is to send the information to the tax office and other state offices “in order to increase control over everything” That one I believe.


 


First the bankers argued that this broke their confidentiality agreement with their clients. They can provide information, but there has to be a reason to do it. But then, the President of the private banker’s association said this had all been a “confusion” that the data hand over had been postponed and this was all part of a multilateral program.


 


You have to be stupid to ask for that just when there are strong rumors of an Argentina style “Corralito” (which I don’t believe is in the works”


 


Funny, the only reason that I would have thought would justify such a request, has not been mentioned: FIGHTING CORRUPTION!

The pretty revolution #454

March 11, 2004

A good friend of mine came to me today in absolute shock. This morning, he went with another friend to get a new passport. they filled out forms and sat to wait for the person taking care of them to return. After a long time (not unexpected in a Venezuelan Government office), the person came back and told his friend, who had not signed the petition to recall Hugo Chavez, that he was OK. Then the person turned to my friend and told him he had been rejected because he had signed the petition to ask for a recall referendum against President Hugo Chavez.


Such a pretty revolution!

Constitutional Hall makes illegal decision to stop Electoral Hall

March 11, 2004

The battle over the forms with the same calligraphy has now moved to the Supreme Court. Both sides had asked for injunctions from the Electoral Hall. Both sides had asked the Electoral hall to recuse some of the Justices from the case. This morning the requests to be recused were rejected by the Electoral Hall, suggesting they may soon rule on the case. Well, this afternoon, the Constitutional Hall, with only three Justices present ruled that the Electoral Hall can not make a ruling on the case until the Constitutional Hall decides whether it will look at the case or not. A ruling like this requires quorum, which is made by having four Justices present. The Constitutional Hall has to invite its members three times if uorum is not achieved before it can then use alternate Justices. The question is? What will the Electoral Hall do now?


Note added: This article quotes lawyers who know what they are talking about. One of them says that it is the Electoral hall the ones that is competent to hear the case, so he calls on the Justices from that Hall to decide. Another says that this is a kidnapping of the Electoral hall. A third one says that the Constitutional Hall can not decide on a matter from another Hall, “just because it thinks it has supremacy over the decisions”. This lawyer suggests that the Electoral Hall should send the issue to the full Court because this is a conflict between Halls.

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