The pathethic People’s Ombudsman once again fails to defend the people’s rights

June 5, 2007

And you have to wonder about that little pathetic man, the People’s Ombudsman German Munadarain , whose position in Spanish is called “The People’s Defender”, but who seldom is seen around when it is time to actually defend anyone’s rights. Yesterday he suggested he was actually outraged at the Human Rights Committee of the OAS for having the audacity to request a list of those detained during last week’s demonstrations.

According to Mundarain, the OAS Committe (CIDH), composed by only people with a track record in the defense of human rights, “invaded” its own functions, when it asked for the list of those students detained during last week’s demonstrations. Mundarain hilariously said that he had to protect the honor of reputation of people and even more hilariously he said that those detained were just those that overstepped the law.

Well, first of all, I wonder where Mr. Mundarain was when the same “honor and reputation” as well as the privacy and human rights were violated and invaded by the Chavez administration via the infamous Chavez/Tascon/Maisanta database which not only contained the names and addresses of over four million Venezuelans who signed the recall petition against President Hugo Chavez, but it also had a list of all of Chavez’ “supporters” classified by their participation in the Government’s “misiones” as well as their participation in recall processes against non-Chavista officials. This list was used to discriminate, fire, deny basic Government services and in hiring and contractual decisions. The list was so perverse, that you could select a voting center and click on a button called “Patriots” to identify those that the software classified mathematically as being pro-Chavez. This list was used for two years in blatant fashion and is still in use today by teh Government, even though Chavez himself “ordered” this fascist use of the list to stop, as it had been “enough” in the Dictator’s own words.

And where was Mr. Mundarain when all this happened? How about the honor, reputation and rights of those that were discriminated and identified using this devilish tool of the Chavista Government? He never said anything, investigated anything or even publicly said anything about it.

And if the OAS’ Human Rights Commission is asking for information is because there has been so little of it. First of all, hundreds were detained for over 24 hours and held incommunicado in violation of the country’s laws. Second, many were charged with blocking the streets which in itself is not a crime in Venezuelan law. But more importantly, even today the discrepancies between the numbers given by the Prosecutor’s Office (only 130 detained during last weeks’ demonstrations) and those of Mr. Mundarain’s office (276 people detained during the demonstrations), leave a lot to be desired. Moreover and very curiously, not a single policeman has been charged, despite the fact that there are dozens of pictures showing police officers carrying concealed weapons during the demonstrations, which in itself is a crime, without regards to the violent repression of the demonstrators in many instances as well as the practical news blackout by the official media.

If Mr. Mundarain were doing his job, truly defending the people and not his job, then the CIDH would not have to request any information. Until he is changed or imprisoned, Venezuelans only have the legal intervention of the CIDH of the OAS to defend them, because the People’s Ombudsman has miserably and totally failed his mandate in the last seven years.

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