Spanish – The detention and persecution of military personnel in Venezuela are increasing while their families receive death threats from the dictatorship led by Maduro.
The Directorate of Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM) has arrested at least four Venezuelan officials, and they are all missing following suspicions of alleged rebellion.
A colonel, two lieutenants, and a ship’s captain lost all contact with their families ten days ago after they demanded the entry of representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the DGCIM facilities.
Family members fear that the military will suffer the same fate as Lieutenant Commander Rafael Acosta Arevalo, who was tortured to death by forces loyal to the dictatorship.
“The families don’t want to talk because they are afraid of being killed,” opposition Congresswoman Delsa Solorzano told the Nuevo Herald referring to the cases of Lieutenant Colonel Igber Marin Chaparro (Army), Lieutenant Colonel Ruperto Molina (Aviation), Captain Luis de La Sotta (Navy), and Colonel Juan Francisco Rodriguez Dos Ramos (National Guard).
#Venezuela. TORTURAS. DGCIM. Esta es la celda "la jaula de los locos" donde han encerrado a los presos politicos militares Igber Marín Chaparro, Luis de La Sotta, Ruperto Molina desde el Martes pasado. Celda totalmente Negra, dond deben hacer necesidades en bolsas plasticas, pic.twitter.com/83ak3jdeRh
— Tamara Suju (@TAMARA_SUJU) July 15, 2019
“We’re not talking about a normal circumstance. We are talking about a circumstance in which they could kill you, and throw you off a balcony as was the case of (opposition councilman) Fernando Alban, or kill you to seize your corpse, which is what happens in our country,” she added.
A report in the daily, El Mundo, points out that the families of the officers suffer under the regime’s terror plan. “The regime harasses the families, steals their homes. In the military barracks, the discourse about loyalty is like red paint that is thrown into a flock to detect those who feel uncomfortable and watch over them. Each unit has a soldier whose job is to be the political commissioner of the regime, regardless of their rank and hierarchy. He has to make reports of anyone who is not aligned with the process,” said Rocio San Miguel, president of Social Watch for the Armed Forces.
Miguel Rodriguez-Torres and Raul Isaias Baduel, two military generals who were very powerful in their day, have also been unable to escape the horror at the hands of their former comrades. Torres, the former director of Sebin and interior minister with Maduro, has been on hunger strike for eight days, tied to a bed at Fort Tiuna. The latter, defense minister under Chavez, has been missing for a month since he was taken out of the Sebin dungeons known as La Tumba.
Fearing a military uprising, the Maduro regime has detained over 150 military personnel. The use of torture and extrajudicial killings have become prevalent forms of punishment.
Beside death threats against family members of military detainees, the dictatorship has also kidnapped innocent people to arrest politically persecuted people.
Officials with the faces covered by the SEBIN or the DGCIM kidnap people as a measure of pressure so that those they are looking for show up: an action that could be described as state terrorism.
In August last year, SEBIN forcefully abducted an entire family to find out the whereabouts of Oswaldo Garcia Palomo, a retired colonel of the National Guard (GN). The family members included Argenis Granadillo, 50, Gabriela Granadillo, 49, Ariana Granadillo, 21, and Garcia Palomo’s cousins.
The Granadillo family is only one of the hundreds facing state persecution against dissidents every day.
The same thing happened with the detention of doctor Alberto Marulanda Bedoya for being the partner of an officer of the Venezuelan Armed Forces.
These are similar cases across the country. In 2017, Juan Pedro Lares, the son of Omar Lares, mayor of the municipality of Campo Elias in Merida. Likewise, the entrepreneur Carlos Eduardo Marron Colmenares, the owner of the Dolar Pro portal was detained as a way to create pressure to arrest another person.
The regime tortures soldiers
Recently, the regime has increased the persecution of dissident military members accusing them of rebellion and treason against the homeland. It subjects prisoners to torture through a terror plan during their detention.
The Spanish newspaper El Mundo published a report detailing the different modes of torture that the dictatorship inflicts on the military members who are now political prisoners.
According to Gonzalo Himiob, director of the NGO Foro Penal Venezolano, the regime has initiated “torture, and especially hard, degrading, and cruel treatment of soldiers.” He affirms that this is state policy to send a message of terror and intimidation to the members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces.
We have to remember what happened to Lieutenant Commander Rafael Acosta Arevalo, who was ruthlessly beaten.
“The regime took him with other detainees from their home to a forested place, hung him naked from a tree with his arms tied behind his back, and his eyes covered by cardboard. They beat him with sticks, shot him near the ear to stun him and make him lose his hearing. They poured acid on him, and we don’t know if it was here or in the basement of the DGCIM where they applied the electric shocks,” said Tamara Suju, director of Casla Institute.