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Not William Bratton for LAPD

by ConnectTheDots Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2002 at 5:45 PM

I am aware of the fact that the Metropolitan Police of Caracas have a black history for many years in violations of human rights. It is worth stressing that for almost two years the Metropolitan Police agents have been trained by United States agents belonging to the Bratton Group (headed by former New York and Boston police commissioner William Bratton). This "security" corps acts under the command of Mayor Alfredo Peña, who is a bitter opponent of the Chávez government and the social reforms that this government has implemented.

I, Paul-Emile Dupret, Belgian citizen, staff member of the European Parliament as a political advisor, make the following complaint:

Finding myself in Venezuela to understand the political situation in greater detail, for personal and political interest, I was victim of an aggression by the Caracas police while I accompanied a news team of the Community Television station Catia-TV that covered the demonstrations by Venezuelan citizens both in favor of the military generals implicated in the April 11 coup d'etat, and others opposed to the impunity of that action, in front of the Supreme Court. Suddenly, the metropolitan police of Caracas, in an act of evident provocation, made very rapid maneuvers in which they gratuitously attacked the sector of the demonstrations that was in favor of the (national) government, whom they violently beat and attacked with rubber bullet gunshots. At this moment, I was shot by rubber bullets that caused me some 40 wounds in the head, back, shoulder and left arm. Fortunately, these are wounds without worse consequences, but for a while I lost vision in one eye, because the bullets shot from some five meters way hit only two centimeters from the eye.

I protest this aggression and file a judicial complaint to the Venezuelan prosecutor, and inform my Embassy to file protest over this action by the Metropolitan Police.

I am aware of the fact that the Metropolitan Police of Caracas have a black history for many years in violations of human rights. It is worth stressing that for almost two years the Metropolitan Police agents have been trained by United States agents belonging to the Bratton Group (headed by former New York and Boston police commissioner William Bratton). This "security" corps acts under the command of Mayor Alfredo Peña, who is a bitter opponent of the Chávez government and the social reforms that this government has implemented.

The Metropolitan Police played a decisive role so that on April 11th the pro-coup sectors could succeed, until the people and the sectors of the armed forces loyal to the Constitution reacted to reestablish the legitimate government. On July 31, seven members of this police force were found guilty of the deaths of some of the victims who died near the National Palace at Miraflores on April 11th while they demonstrated in defense of the rule of law.

But I also want to inform the public that it is documented that in these days the same police committed multiple cases of attacks against Human Rights, many of them of even greater seriousness. Beginning on July 31, the Metropolitan Police began anew to attack the population, realizing a series of violent acts to impede the people from peacefully demonstrating so that the authors of the coup d'etat will be put on trial and punished. And with these provocations, inciting violence and disorder with the goal of creating a situation of chaos to demonstrate the incapacity of the Chávez government to restore calm, and to make possible later actions toward a coup, likely in coordination with other sectors such as the Chamber of Commerce, the central union, the commercial media, etc…

It's that on the days of July 31, and the 1st and 2nd of August, the Metropolitan Police, at the same time, demonstrated themselves as very complacent and complicit with those who demonstrated in defense of the military coup plotters whose case was being heard by the Supreme Court, committing many violations against people who demonstrated peacefully, of which I can supply the following information:

· Franco Arquímedes, C.I: 10.864.195, Secretary General of the Taxi Drivers' Union of Llaguno Bridge, was arrested, and according to members of his family, tortured by officers of the Metropolitan Police, and kept imprisoned for almost 12 hours;

· Jorge Barroeta, C.I: 6.048.783. - Victim of beatings to his back, kicked in the neck, shot by rubber bullets in the arms and the back.

· Jazmín Manuitt, C.I: 8.554.147. * Víctim of beatings on the legs and hands.

· Leonardo Calderón, C.I: 7.132.638. * Víctim of beatings to his body.

· Francisco Daza, C.I: 7.263.458.- Wounded by rubber bullets in his legs.

· Alexander José Sucre (handicapped), C.I: 12.662.263 * Beaten in the head while his crutches were broken by agents of the Metropolitan Police.

· Jonathan Antonio Aranguren, C.I: 7.132.638 * Victim of rubber bullets.

· Willmer José Aranguren, C.I: 13.716.461 * Victim of rubber bullets.

· Mrs. NN, hospitalized in Vargas Hospital with wounds caused by Metropolitan Police who caused her sprained muscles.

These are some of the 18 wounded from the events of July 31, 2002, to which must the victims of the 1st and 2nd of August must also be counted and information is currently being assembled about those cases.


Paul-Emile Dupret

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