Archive for July 2nd, 2005

Students Killed in Venezuela.-Why this is not just a matter of Justice.

July 2, 2005

I do not just want justice for the death of the three
engineering students. I do not just want the policemen that killed them in
jail. I do not want just the immediate police chiefs removed from their job, as
ordered yesterday by Justice and Interior Minister

What I want is the resignation of the ministers responsible
of the judiciary and military police that were in charge of that despicable “police
operative”. And I want a serious commitment of those individuals that would take charge that
this type of police operatives will not ever happen again in Venezuela.

So far, it seems that there were two groups: the DIM
(Division de Inteligencia Militar) and the CICPC (Cuerpo de Investigaciones
Cientificas Penales y Criminalisticas). They depend on the Ministry of Defense
and the Justice and Interior Ministry.

Yesterday, I was quite bothered by the reaction of my fellow
Venezuelans. Government officials claimed to be revolted and promised that those guilty of the crime will
be punished. The students’classmates asked
for justice. People that witnessed the killing talked about the “incompetence”
of the police. Deputies of the National
Assembly talked about initiating an investigation of the killings….

But nobody hinted that there was a higher responsibility in
this matter. A government has to answer
to its people for nurturing police units
within the State that are actually organized to disregard human rights and to kill and injure people as
they wish.

This is the unique responsibility of the Government. And
within the government, that responsibility lays on the Ministers responsible of
the Police units involved in the massacre.

Today, reading El Nacional, I had a blink of a hope. I
thought that at least someone understands what it means to live in a democracy!
Today there is just one sentence, that is usually written on the lower right
corner of El Nacional Opinion page. Today the sentence was a simple question:

“¿Seis jefes y ni un ministro?” (six chiefs and no Minister?).

Whoever wrote that question made my day. Because this is not
a simple matter of incompetence, not a matter of punishment, not just a matter
of justice.

This case goes beyond that.

This is a matter of fundamental human rights within what
should be a modern democratic state

Jorge Arena.