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A testimony of torture in Venezuela

By Cristian Petersen

I was detained by the Military Police on March 1, 2004 (Monday) close to the Plaza Altamira (La Floresta). I was obliged at gun point to board a motor bike and taken into custody within a military vehicle parked near the Altamira Distribuidor. I was kept there for a couple of hours and punched / hit 5 times. One of my ribs is hurting although it was not broken. The military police kept distance from me once they noticed my age (52 years) plus German Nationality (I am also Venezuelan). I was released after 2 hours after my money and mobile phone were stolen.

Surprisingly,I was also given something to drink by one of the officers. However, I was witness of extreme physical / psychological abuse done to about 5 young men. Once I left the vehicle these persons were still being kept by the Military Police. In summary, this was an extremely painful experience and totally unjustified considering that I was not attacking the military police,putting up barricades or destroying private or common goods.

On the other side, I was also lucky in relation to what happened to the other young men that afternoon.

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