Tortures, murders, arbitrary detentions, false accusations and a lot of impunity. The new repressive wave of Chavismo insists against human rights defenders and adds leaders of Bandera Roja, a Marxist opposition organization, which has led different protests. But in addition, it adds an unprecedented case until now: the arrest and death of an agent of the Corps of Criminal and Criminalistic Scientific Investigations (Cicpc), the Venezuelan judicial police.
The known autopsy of Juan Pantoja, who fell into the hands of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim), confirms that the detective died of “mechanical suffocation by submersion.” This military body has turned its headquarters in Caracas into one of the main torture centers on the continent.
The same agent warned his colleagues of the torture he was suffering after his arrest. “He was submerged in a 200-liter pipe (tank) that was in the place,” confirmed Tamara Suju, a human rights activist. Pantoja was accused of helping the escape of Reyes Hernández, owner of a hacienda and persecuted by Chavismo, who was able to flee the country.
Severe cerebral edema, pulmonary edema and congestion, massive hemothorax and other injuries appear in the detective’s autopsy, a new case of torture in Chavista Venezuela. The International Criminal Court is already investigating Nicolás Maduro and his generals for extra-summary executions, torture, sexual violations, forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions.
“These are dark times for human rights in Venezuela, a range of state crimes live and direct. They are trying to immobilize the population,” summarized former prosecutor Zair Mundaray, who from exile informed the country of what was happening. at the Apure police station.
The European Union and Canada have just denounced another murder, that of Virgilio Trujillo, an indigenous leader from the Amazon and environmental defender, who protected the ancestral territories of the Piaroas from illegal mining and Colombian guerrillas, allies of Maduro.
Pantoja’s murder coincides with the new onslaught against human, social and labor rights defenders, “who represent an obstacle to the regime’s plans to normalize the dictatorship, which is why they are kidnapped and persecuted,” denounced Andrea Tavares, secretary general of La Cause.
Among them is Gabriel Blanco, leader of the Independent Trade Union Alliance and humanitarian worker for the NGO Exodus, who is accused of terrorism and criminal association, common tools of the three continental dictatorships against their persecuted. According to data from the Penal Forum, currently 236 political prisoners remain in Chavismo’s dungeons, including 129 soldiers and 14 women.
His work with the most vulnerable communities, especially on women’s rights, had made him a target of revolutionary persecution. His wife, Diannet Blanco, is a member of the Human Rights Committees and a former political prisoner of Chavismo.
This is just one of the seven detainees in recent hours, which include leaders and activists of Bandera Roja. The retired teacher Jenny Pérez, the leaders Reynaldo Cortés and Alcides Bracho, the militants Néstor Astudillo and Alonso Meléndez and the trade unionist Emilio Negrín complete the list of persecuted.
Carlos Hermoso, leader of Bandera Roja, assured that they remain firm in the protest. “We are going to promote a national front against repression,” he advanced.
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