Committee of Family Members of the Victims of the February -
March 1989 Events (Cofavic), a NGO that has felt under harassment
by the government for having sued the Venezuelan State for compensation
on behalf of those victims, will introduce a complaint against
the Office of the Public Prosecutor before the Human Rights
Office of the United Nations, the Inter American Commission
on Human Rights and the Inter American Court on Human Rights,
for recent statements made by that Office which this NGO considers
damaging to its reputation.
2. The Public Prosecutor's Office opened, on April 7, 2005
criminal prosecution against Carlos Ayala-Corao, President
of the Andean Commission of Jurists and former President of
the Inter American Human Rights Commission. On April 15, 2005,
the basis of hear say and press articles, he was charged
with the crime of 'conspiracy' for having allegedly participated
in the drafting of the April 12, 2002, proclamation known as
the 'Carmona Decree'. This decree made void the Bolivarian Constitution,
dissolved all branches of Government and dismissed from their
positions all public officials. The Ayala-Corao case is an emblematic
case since his position against the dissolution of the Government
on April 12, 2002 , as well as his active defense of the rights
of President Chavez's followers, some of which were persecuted
immediately after the President abandoned his duties for a few
hours, is well known. This case has been read as an indication
of the Government's intention to
harass pro-human rights individuals and organizations. It
has given rise to very public polemics and to the
solidarity of NGO's active in the field of human rights.
3. Four members of Sumate's board of directors have been charged with "
conspiracy to destroy the republican political road chosen by
the Nation", for having received funds from the National
Endowment for Democracy to prepare and offer courses on citizens'
rights. Finally, after 15 months of harassments, subpoenas to
declare in court, accusations made through the media, etc.,
in July 2005 a court ruled to bring them up for trial. Sumate
is a Civil Association for the defense of people's voting rights.
In 2003 and 2004 it organized the gathering of firms to request
the Presidential Recall Referendum.