The regime of Nicolas Maduro adds another murder to its list of crimes after having tortured Captain Corbeta Rafael Acosta Arevalo, who, hours before his death, appeared in court with irrefutable evidence of having been tortured.
#SOSVENEZUELA DGCIM asesina a punta de TORTURAS al Cap. D Corbeta Rafael Acosta Arévalo. Detenido el 26Jun. Ayer llegó a tribunales en silla de ruedas, presentando graves signos de TORTURAS. No hablaba, sólo pedía AUXILIO a su abogado. No entendía ni escuchaba bien. Le pedia pic.twitter.com/0wgshHlEam
— Tamara Suju (@TAMARA_SUJU) June 29, 2019
The world reacted to the Acosta case. Everyone, including the Lima Group and the European Union, condemned the assassination perpetrated by the regime. It is yet another case that will be presented to the International Criminal Court as the evidence is visible in broad daylight. The regime’s armed security forces had detained Captain Corbeta since 21st June.
— Cancillería Perú🇵🇪 (@CancilleriaPeru) June 30, 2019
The Lima Group strongly condemned the ongoing practices of arbitrary detentions and torture to which Nicolas Maduro’s illegitimate regime submits those it considers its opponents. The Group also urged the international community, especially the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to act without delay to restore the rights of Venezuelans and protect their integrity.
Nos sumamos a las voces de rechazo y denuncia que advierten que la muerte del Capitán de Corbeta de la Armada venezolana, Rafael Acosta Arévalo, fue provocada por torturas en su detención, por cuenta del régimen de Nicolás Maduro. El mundo debe ponerle fin a esa dictadura.
— Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) June 30, 2019
The European Union also expressed its support for the Lieutenant Commander and assured that his death would not go unpunished or unnoticed. This case is another example of the arbitrary nature of the judicial system in Venezuela.
Rafael Acosta Arevalo appeared before a military tribunal sitting in a wheelchair because he could not stand due to intense pain. His body was full of abrasions, his nails were full of blood, and his eyes were purple. During his time at the court, the only thing the political prisoner asked for was “help.” The damage was so apparent that the judge in the case ordered him to be transferred to a hospital where he died hours later.
Se que la gran mayoría de los hombres y mujeres de la FANB están indignados por el asesinato Capitán de Corbeta, Rafael Acosta Arévalo.
Hoy, no soy yo quien les hace un llamado, lo hacen sus compañeros de armas desde la tumba.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) June 30, 2019
Acosta Arevalo was one of six officials, four soldiers and two judicial police officers, who were arrested during Michelle Bachelet’s visit to the Venezuelan capital between 19th and 21st June.
The six officials were implicated with eight others in an alleged plot scheduled for 23rd and 24th June that allegedly involved the murder of Nicolas Maduro, according to usurping Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez. However, no evidence was ever presented.
The statement of Maduro’s regime contradicts the version presented by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Maduro’s announcement indicates that Acosta Arevalo had already been charged; while the statement by the usurper Tarek William Saab claims that the Captain was brought to trial.
Attorney Rocío San Miguel explains that the three press releases issued by the regime regarding the death of Acosta reveal a fundamental inconsistency. It allows the world to establish the responsibility of the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence in the murder of the Captain and that of those who publicly accused Captain Corbeta before he was legally charged.
According to Nicolas Maduro, the lieutenant commander had already appeared in court; according to the Chavista defender Tarek William Saab, he appeared hours before he died; and according to the Ministry of Defense, Acosta’s death occurred before he could present himself in court.
The crimes that the dictatorship cannot hide
According to the Rome Statute, any act defined as murder, extermination, slavery, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment, or other severe deprivation of physical liberty is a crime against humanity and a violation of fundamental norms of international law.
Crimes against humanity are not pre-written, which means that at any moment, Maduro would have to answer for the crimes committed against Venezuelans, as he has committed several of the offenses mentioned earlier.
Nicolas Maduro’s regime has perpetrated hundreds of crimes that still go unpunished; however, there are at least three irrefutable cases in which his guilt is evident, and he has had no way of concealing it.
The case of Rafael Acosta is the third irrefutable case of crimes of the dictatorship after the assassinations of councilman Fernando Alban in the hands of the state police, the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), and Captain Oscar Pérez and his team.
For Venezuela and the world, there is no doubt that the regime of Nicolas Maduro assassinated councilman Fernando Alban; especially after learning of the violations of the protocols for the execution of his death sentence.
The officials issued contradictory statements, thus making the version about the alleged suicide even less credible. All evidence indicated that an official of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) tortured and murdered Alban.
The unofficial version is that Alban died due to torture and he was thrown from the 10th floor of SEBIN to mislead the public. The international community also has doubts. Accordingly, the European Union, the US, Germany, Ecuador, the Lima Group, and Spain demanded an independent investigation.
Further, in September 2017, Carlos Andrés García, councilman of Guasdualito, Apure state, died after suffering a stroke in the prison cell failing to receive the necessary medical attention.
Garcia was denied medical attention, and by the time he was transferred to an assisted living facility, “there was no longer any possibility of doing anything to improve his health.”
Besides Garcia and Alban, in March 2015, Rodolfo Gonzales, alias “El Aviador,” also died at the hands of the dictatorship. Although we don’t know the cause of his death, however, it is speculated that he committed suicide in his prison cell after Gonzalez learned that he would be transferred to Yare prison (100 kilometers from the capital) at the age of 63.
Gonzalez was detained in April 2014 without evidence or investigation, without the presumption of innocence, only under an anonymous testimony with the accusation of association to commit crimes, possession of explosives, and trafficking of firearms.
We must remember the assassination of Captain Oscar Perez in the hands of the state security forces who were following the orders issued by Maduro.
Cases before the International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has received multiple reports against the Maduro regime. The most important one was probably that the governments of the six countries of the Lima Group issued.
The Foreign Ministry letter was accompanied by two reports prepared by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and by a group of experts appointed by the Secretary General of the OAS. These reports documented extrajudicial executions, among other human rights violations.
Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, also asked the ICC to investigate the severe cases of violence that state security forces commit with widespread impunity against the Venezuelan population.
In September 2017, the Democratic Platform of Venezuelans in Madrid (PDVM) also filed a complaint against Maduro with the ICC for crimes against humanity.
Likewise, in July of the same year a hundred congressmen from Chile and Colombia, including Ivan Duque (president-elect of the latter country), went to The Hague for the same purpose. They presented a document based on reports from international organizations accusing the Venezuelan president of having been a “participant in serious violations of international law.”
Ortega handed over to the international body all the petitions against the Venezuelan State related to extrajudicial executions and human rights violations.