Archive for February 14th, 2005

The immorality of Venezuelan Justice

February 14, 2005

Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez must really be going crazy now that both major newspapers in Caracas published today complete transcripts of the statements made to the Prosecutor’s office by the sister of murdered prosecutor Danilo Anderson. If the Attorney General were a principled and consistent man, he would have to raid the homes of El Universal’s reporter Pilar Diaz and El Nacional’s reporter Alfredo Meza.


But of course he will not. The raid on Patricia Poleo’s home was simply part of the political vendetta against that particular reporter for her consistent reporting about how the Attorney General’s office was rotten to the core. And today’s leaked transcript only contributes to confirm once more that the one time hero of the revolution, that martyr barely three months ago, was simply involved in some very dirty businesses indeed.


 


According to Anderson’s sister Lourdes, she had never met lawyer Socrates Tinacos until he called her to give her Bs. 80 million (US$ 41,677) telling her that the “rest” had been given to others according to an agreement he had reached with her brother. She said Tinacos mentioned two more prosecutors, four judges and three lawyers. Amazingly enough, the two prosecutors mentioned are none other than the ones that are in charge of finding out who was behind Anderson’s murder. And the Attorney General blames the cops for the lack of progress rather than looking into his own putrid office!


 


But there is even more as told by Mrs. Anderson. She says that a few days after Anderson’s assassination, his girlfriend’s home was also raided by the police and she was present. What did they find? A laptop, a rifle and a briefcase with Bs. 300 million (US$ 156,000). According to her, her brother also owned a Toyota Land Rover, the Toyota Autana in which he was killed, two ski jets, a farm in San Sebastian de Los Reyes, an apartment in Maiquetia as well as an amount of cash in his apartment which appears to have been of the order of US$ 500,000.


 


Now, the readers should have something very clear, Mr. Anderson’s salary as a Prosecutor was Bs. 2 million, around US$ 1,000 a month, which with benefits, year end and vacation bonuses may have reached Bs. 34 million, a paltry US$ 17,700. Thus, the question that the Attorney General and the Prosecutor’s office have to answer is where did all the money come from?


 


In any other country, the Attorney General would have already resigned or have been fired, shamed by the corruption taking place under his nose by his closest collaborators. Moreover, as the investigations are redirected towards the apparent extortion ring surrounding the dead prosecutor, someone, beginning with the Attorney General, should explain to the country why two apparently innocent people were killed by the police the day after Anderson’s murdered. It is still fresh in everyone’s mind how this same Attorney General justified those deaths because they were involved in Anderson’s murder. How would he explain these deaths now that we know what we know?


 


But nothing will happen. Time and time again, Mr. Rodriguez has shown his lack of scruples and Chavez his tolerance for his lackey. His ability to twist and turn the law and the powers of his office to persecute the opposition in order to please Chavez and satisfy the political appetites of the revolution. Over one hundred politically related murders remain open, without anyone being charged for them, while Rodriguez’ office continues investigating and charging the 400 members of the opposition who went to the Presidential Palace on April 12th., or intimidating reporters, or protecting the President and his Ministers from real charges of violating the law or reviving cases already tried even by the Venezuelan Supreme Court.


 


Justice in Venezuela is managed and exercised by a man that in my personal opinion is simply immoral and lacks any scruples. My only hope is that one day, whether next year or ten years from now, the current Attorney General will be held accountable for his omissions, abuse of power and mishandling of the law. It will not be revenge, it will simply be justice. 

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