1. During the April 2002 events, 19 persons were killed and
to this date those responsible remain unknown. The
establishment of a Truth Commission which had been agreed
upon on May 29, 2003 in the Negotiations and Agreements Roundtable
chaired by the Secretary General of the Organization of American
States, never took place. Nevertheless, those considered to
rank with the opposition are treated by the courts and other
civil authorities quite differently from those close to the
2. Among those indicted for the April 2002 events are four individuals who
have come to be known as the Puente-Llaguno
Gunmen: Richard Peñalver, Rafael Cabrices, Nicolás
Rivera-Muentes, and Henry Atencio. They were filmed and taped
while shooting at the opposition demonstration as it walked
along the Baralt Avenue towards Miraflores Palace, on April
11, 2002. Yet they are all free today, following the September
18, 2002 ruling by the Fourth Court that exonerated them of
all charges. Some have even been treated as heroes by the President
of the Republic himself.
members of the Metropolitan Police Force, at the service of
the Caracas Metropolitan Government , whose Mayor, identified
with the opposition, ordered the Force to protect the demonstrators
were charged with the crime and are currently held in jail in
Maracay. Their names are: Sergeant Julio Ramírez Rodríguez-Salazar,
Sergeant Rafael Alfredo Nazoa-López, Private Luis Enrique
Molina-Cerrada, Inspector Héctor José Rovain,
Corporal Arube José Pérez-Salazar, Corporal Ramón
Humberto Zapata Alfonso, Commissar-in-Chief Marcos Javier Hurtado,
and Agent Erasmo Bolívar.
4. Two Metropolitan Police Chief-Inspectors, Commissars
Henry Vivas and Lázaro Forero, as well as Commissar Iván
Simonovis, who at the time was Secretary for Citizens Security,
have been under arrest for months, charged as accomplices to
the crimes of murder and battering. The Judge who issued the
arrest and detention orders against Commissar Simonovis is Maikel
Moreno, Control Judge N° 34. Even though he had been the
defense attorney for Richard Peñalver, one of the Puente-Llaguno
gunmen, he did not deem it necessary to withdraw from the case.
press briefing on the case of the three Commissars). Simonovis'
rights were further trampled upon when he was apprehended and
jailed without a judicial order .
5. Even the political rights of the ex-commissioners Forero and Simonovis are
at risk. Their names have been proposed as opposition candidates
for the 2005 elections of the National Assembly in order to
guarantee their freedon thanks to the parliamentary immunity.
Nicol ás Maduro, president of the actual National Assembly
said that in the case they are elected, their
immunity would be waived by the resulting pro-government
mayority as predicted by him.