Spanish Version

Is the Legislative Branch Controlled by the Executive?

Is the Judicial branch controlled by the Executive?

Is the National Electoral Council controlled by the Executive?

Is the new Citizens' Power (the Public Prosecutor, the Office of the Comptroller and the Peoples' Advocate) controlled by the Executive?

Are the Supreme Court Justices biased in the discharge of their Duties?

Is the Independence of the Judicial Career respected?

Do Venezuelan Courts respect Constitutional Law principles?

Is the Supreme Court at the service of the Administration?

Is the National Electoral Council (CNE) an Impartial Body?

Does the CNE Address The Interests of Civil Society or those of the Government?

Does the National Electoral Council Act In Conformity to the law?

Is voting by way of electronic machines reliable?

Does the Permanent Electoral Register (REP) contain true and precise information?

Are the media really independent?

Does the Penal Code limit freedom of expression?

Are journalists persecuted, threatened or harassed because of the way they cover the news?

Have the human rights of the April 2002 victims been respected and have those responsible been indicted?

Does discrimination on political grounds exist in Venezuela?

Is freedom of thought in education respected?

Is venezuelan citizen's private life respected?

Are human rights violated in Venezuela ?

Are those active in the defense of democracy in Venezuela persecuted and imprisoned?

Are there political prisoners in Venezuela ? Are people persecuted for political reasons?

Is the Executive ruling under a military style?

Is the political parties system declining in Venezuela?

Are traditional trade-union organizations being respected?

Is the civil society allowed to exercise the functions conferred by the Constitution?

Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms


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 government.

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.

3. Eight 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. (See the 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.