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Venezuela: Extrajudicial Killings and Forced Disappearances

By Aleksander Boyd

Silvino Bustillos, a retired Venezuelan air force colonel and former senior judge in the armed forces FAN judicial system.

London 31.10.05 | The man in the picture above, Silvino Bustillos, is missing. A source with Venezuela's Division of Military Intelligence (DIM) leaked the information about Bustillos’ assassination to Manuel Isidro Molina on Sunday 31 October 2004. Exactly one year has come to pass and Bustillos is yet to appear or make contact with his family after one year.

Some days ago Venezuelan defenders of human rights provided the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with an exquisitely detailed account of the "thousands of forced disappearances, tens of thousands of unsolved murders, soaring mortality rate among the ill-treated prison population, continued attacks against journalists, increasing persecution of Human Rights defenders, complete obliteration of the country's judicial system, and multiple threats against freedom of expression" (sic).

Yesterday the Post published an editorial, shedding light about the particular case of Carlos Ayala, citing:

One conspicuous victim of this phenomenon is Carlos Ayala, who testified before the commission about the growing threat to journalists and press freedom. One of the most respected human rights lawyers in Latin America, Mr. Ayala is a former president of the Inter-American Commission as well as the Andean Commission of Jurists. When dissident military leaders tried to stage a coup against Mr. Chavez in April 2002, Mr. Ayala not only denounced the plot, which eventually failed, but intervened with police to free a militant pro-Chavez legislator. Yet, last April, after he brought human rights cases against the Chavez government, prosecutors announced that they had opened a criminal investigation against Mr. Ayala for allegedly supporting the coup. Charges are still pending.

And before hired sycophants and other lackeys blow the trumpet of neocommunist Chavez being the victim of an orchestrated misinformation campaign by the US media, how about diverting some of the abundant funds earmarked for propaganda spreading purposes to actually investigating the whereabouts of one Silvino Bustillos?

How about investigating claims that 6.000 Venezuelans have been executed during Hugo Chavez's tenure?



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