The Ignorance Of Venezuela’s People’s “Defender”

March 8, 2014

People’s “defender” today

The Chavista Constitution of 2000, created the position of the People’s Defender, better translated as the People’s Ombudsman. This was a great idea of the 2000 Constitution, which, as so many things with Chavismo, it has received really bad implementation.

Like really bad…

Because those holding the position in the end have only sucked up to Chávez then, or Maduro now, defending the Government and seldom doing what Art. 280 of the 2000 Constitution mandated them to do:

Artículo 280. La Defensoría del Pueblo tiene a su cargo la promoción, defensa y vigilancia de los derechos y garantías establecidos en esta Constitución y los tratados internacionales sobre derechos humanos, además de los intereses legítimos, colectivos y difusos, de los ciudadanos.

(Article 280. The People’s Defender is in charge of promoting, defending and watching over the rights and gurantees in the Constitution and the international treaties about human rights, besides the legitimate, collective and diffuse interests of the citizens. )

And so far, the only person to occupy the position and do her jov was the first one, Dilia Parra, who was the only one qualified and truly independent to hold the position. The other two, German Mundarian and the current one, Gabriela Ramirez, have been know as the “Defensores del Puesto” (“Defenders of the position”) spending their time more defending the untenable positions of the Government, than those of the people.

Over the last few week, little has been heard from Ramirez, while repression blossomed in Venezuela. Ramirez, who reached her position with little human rights back1groung, reached her position after failing to win the race for Mayor of Baruta, three years ago and her buddy Diosdado brokered the position for her in a deal with Chávez.

But she is clearly not qualified. She has no interests in human rights and protecting the people.  At least in three years as the People’s Defender, she has shown no inclination for this. She is also a terrible (abominable?) speaker and knows very little about her job.

A typical Chavista Government official…Not qualified, not competent and fairly ignorant.

Today, there was a controversy over Ramirez, based on the video above. Despite three weeks of protests, Ramirez has been fairly invisible. In fact, only four days ago, she made these absurd statements, in which she claimed not to have any accusations of torture, despite individuals making them, as well as those of Foro Penal Venezolano, which have been very clear and extremely specific and quantitative (Alfredo Romero tweets updates regularly under @alfredoromero). In fact,Ramirez claims that “bullets” have come from “somewhere else” while there are numerous videos which show cops, police and National Guard shooting real bullets at people, exactly what Ramirez says is prohibited.

But today Ramirez in one single sentence showed not only that she is not qualified for her position, but that she has not even bothered to learn the basic tenets of what human rights are.

The controversy arose because people took her statement “la tortura tiene un sentido, por eso nosotros tenemos que ser muy rigurososos con el uso de los términos. La tortura se emplea para obtener…” (Torture has a sense, that is why we have to be rigorous in the use of terms. Torture is used to obtain information…) to mean that she thinks torture is justified.

While this may be what is understood or derived from her statement, I think it is just a consequence of how badly prepared she is to speak in public. But if her words were wrong, her true intent was just as bad, because while I don’t think she was trying to justify torture, she was trying to walk a very fine line and differentiate between torture and cruel or degrading punishment. Suggesting the “Torture” Committe only had to deal with those cases where people were obtained to obtain information.

But it just so happens, that Ramirez is stupidly and ignorantly wrong, because the United Nations, the OAS and even the Venezuelan Government have tried precisely to differentiate that very fine line. And Venezuelan law even includes “intimidation” as part of torture to make Ramirez look even worse and even more ignorant.

Thus, in her attempt to defend the Government, instead of doing her Constitutional job, Ramirez showed her ignorance of international law and the fact that she is not complying with what the Venezuelan Constitution says or what international says are the rights of  the people. As such, she could be one day charged for not preventing “torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” an as stated very clearly in the convention, people like Ramirez will not be able to argue that they followed superior orders as “they will be held accountable individually”

In fact, Ramirez’s statement justify her immediate dismissal from her position, something we know will never happen. Which simply proves the point that Venezuela is a Dictatorship, where human rights are not only nor respected, but those in charge of defending them are incompetent, ignorant politicians who only want to suck up to the highest levels of Government to scale positions in the future.

A profoundly sad and disturbing episode, which simply surprises nobody. Scruples is not a word Chavistas have in their vocabulary, nor is it a concept they can understand or comprehend.

But Humann Rights violations never expire…

21 Responses to “The Ignorance Of Venezuela’s People’s “Defender””

  1. Glenn Says:

    MIguel this is OT but wondered what your take is on Sicad 2 with regards to allowing the Bf to float, in essence removing the fixed rates? Bloomberg says the bond market is up on the news. Could it be this will happen and the government is going to use the protest as the reason for the price sticker shock? Sounds like a typical chavismo strategy – cause and aggravate a crisis to defuse a bigger crisis.

    • Island Canuck Says:

      They’ve already started to back down.

      On Friday they said that there would be no controls.
      Today they are saying that the BCV will analyze controls to stabilize the Sicad 2 market

      BCV analiza medidas para darle estabilidad al Sicad II:

      http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/140309/bcv-analiza-medidas-para-darle-estabilidad-al-sicad-ii

      A fin de evitar que una cantidad desmedida de bolívares se desplace a la compra de dólares en el Sicad II y el tipo de cambio alcance alturas no deseadas, el Banco Central contempla medidas para regular la expansión de la liquidez.

      Basically they are saying they are going to control it to regulate an expansion of the liquidity

      I don’t understand that.
      How can the liquidity grow if people are using excess Bs. to buy $$.
      Wouldn’t it have an opposite effect?

      • Ralph Says:

        The problem of Sicad auctions is the same that has existed since the very beginning of the currency control in 2003: The clique of the most corrupt criminals in this country are the ons who decide where the dollars will go.

        That’s the primary cause of the distortions in the economy that system has caused, is managed by a bunch of money-starved monkeys who think only in how much of those dollars are going to their personal accounts outside Venezuela (Kinda ironic, since they claim the control was created to avoid specifically that)

        The problem with too much people wanting to buy is again what has been happening until now, the demand for dollars is too high and the offer for legal means (Until now, it’s only legal to buy them from the government by their control systems, any other way you get dollars might get you several years in jail) is way too low, so, the same that happens with the scarce products, the prices skyrocket.

        That’s something that benefits yet again the morons who manage the system, because they either get tons of money from bribes, or can easily divert dollars they get from controlling the control system into the black market, getting them more bolivars out of thin air to buy more dollars and keep the machine running.


  2. Esto es otra vil mentira

  3. Bruni Says:

    Miguel, I think Gabriela Ramírez should step down because she has not done her job, she has not been there at all and her statement about the meaning of “torture” is absolutely incredible. According to her, torture exists only when you need to obtain information from the “tortured”…which means if one is torturing another human being just for the sake of it, or for repression, or to create general fear, she says that is not torture.

    This being said, I give her the benefit of the doubt with respect to the statement that she “justifies” torture. In fact I think that what she meant with “la tortura tiene un sentido” was “la tortura tiene una definición”, she was using the term “sentido” more as “definition” than “sense”.

    In any case she does not know how to speak and we should all ask for her inmediate removal.


  4. I fully agree that she was not trying to justify torture because that would require Ms. Ramirez to make an argument for it. If anything, she made sure the definition of torture was “very specific” in order to let those potentially guilty of excessive use of force be off the responsibility hook (also, I wouldn’t translate “tiene sentido” as “to have sense” in this context, but more like “it has a [specific] meaning”).

    • Ralph Says:

      Which is basically her giving the thugs a green light to torture people as much as they want, because the government will only have to claim “hey, we aren’t asking them anything so it’s not torture! That easy! :D”

  5. Charly Says:

    “Scruples is not a word Chavistas have in their vocabulary” nor is the word prostitution.

  6. AmonRa Says:

    This video explains clearly the government that festers Venezuela

  7. Carolina Says:

    I just don’t understand her need to go on TV to differentiate torture from abuse or whatever she said, discussing semantics, when all those methods are against human rights. So what was her point, exactly?

    • Ralph Says:

      Give a excuse to all the cases of torture to free the officers involved on the claim that “It’s not torture because they didn’t ask anything, they were just hitting, zapping, beating, stabbing, helmet-bashing, kicking and/or threatening those fascist punks!”

  8. Not a lawyer, but... Says:

    Where does she get that definition of torture? In her argument, if an authority inflicts pain upon a prisoner as either punishment or out of sadistic pleasure, it is not torture. Not that it matters much, but I do not find any legal support for her inane argument.

  9. Auuuuuvienelobo Says:

  10. Auuuuuvienelobo Says:

  11. Auuuuuvienelobo Says:

    El CiD con Dragon, Yo soy tuya!

  12. Auuuuuvienelobo Says:

    Hour of babylon


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