Another case of torture and repression from today’s Tal Cual

March 24, 2004

Hugo Chavez said in his next to last Sunday program that he wanted proof and names of the repression and torture. Since then, Tal Cual has been carrying a daily piece with the description of what someone went through. Some of them, I have seen elsewhere, but today they present the case of David Meneses, which I had not seen. What is remarkable is the similarity of the way people were terrorized and torture in the same fashion in various places around the country. Clearly, these techniques have been carefully been taught and implemented as suggested by Liliana Ortega of COFAVIC in her press conference last week. Here are some of the descriptions by Tal Cual:

When David Meneses observed the assault rifle that was pointing directly at him last March 1st., he understood in practice that theory that talks about the division in our country. No matter how eloquent it may be, the mouth of a politician is not as explicit as an assault rifle.


The protest against Hugo Chávez had taken over the Perimeter Ave. of San Antonio de Los Altos (a city 20 Km. from Caracas). It was 5:30 PM and David was ready to go to the drugstore where he works. On the way, he met a friend and they began talking about the ills of the country. Minutes later, their talk was interrupted by the violent apparition of the National Guard.


“The military arrived shooting their rifles, while people threw themselves on the ground. I ran so they would not grab me, however they trapped me and about seven guards started hitting me, kicking, hitting me with their rifles and sticks”, he remembers


“They threw me on the floor, face down, pointed the rifle at me and threatened to assassinate me”


The soldier that did that to me went away, placed his knee on the floor and warned me” Close your eyes that I am going to kill you” With my chest on the asphalt and the arms extended, I heard how one of the guards mates that had the weapon recommended the other one that he not press the trigger to avoid problems.


“Later, he told me to put a helmet on me before shooting at me, and he did it. Another military lifted me and the one that had the rifle took out a pistol that shoots pellets and fired twice, hurting my legs”


Another military sprayed itching powder on him and hit him on the back of his neck, while lying on the street. He was moved. They put him in a National Guard truck with six others. ‘A soldier told me to get out and I told him to please not him me anymore, nevertheless, once I got out they started hitting me again”


The soldier hitting him only stops when another one approaches and tells him: Leave him alone”. That same Guard “told me to take my pants off and another Guard said: are you going to rape him right here? And he made it clear he just wanted to hit me directly. Then he grabbed a wooden stick and broke it on my back. “Damn you broke it, he told me” and he got out one made of iron. I asked him not to hit me, that he was going to kill me and the aggressor said” Turn around or I will brake your head with this’


The soldier was not true to his word. According to the doctors five millimeters to the side and David would have had his skull broken. “They insulted me, told me I was a squalid and swearing that nobody would ever overthrow Chavez”


Later they took us away.


“They threw us on the ground and hit us again. A soldier pointed the rifle and screamed” Don’t run that we are going to shoot you. They placed us against the wall and they hit us with their wooden sticks in the back of our legs”


‘The officer told us they  would let us go, but then a Guard arrived who supposedly had been hit by a marble on the chest and said ‘These damn assholes are going to pay” And they hit us again.


They stole his wallet, watch and cell phone.

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