Stories of the officially committed suicide

Mar 28, 2023 | 0 Comentarios

October 17, 2018

Keymer Ávila | @Keymer_Avila

In the final report of the Commission for Justice and Truth (CJV), entitled ” Against silence and oblivion. For truth and justice ”, serious human rights violations that were part of the practice of State terrorism between the years 1958-1998 are denounced and documented, many of them carried out following the teachings of the School of the Americas , within the framework of the National Security Doctrine. This horror was always covered up by the official discourse that presented the governments of the day as democratic, respectful of the right to life and legality. From power “it was enough to present the facts, officially, as « clashes » and, in some specific cases, eventhe perversion was reached of presenting as suicides what were clearly murders (…) it seems that in some events, the murders ended up occurring due to the “mistake” of the torturers, and given the impossibility of disappearing them, makeup was initially resorted to and to deceit” (pp.255-256). In those forty years, with this pattern, four cases stand out:

José Gregorio Rodríguez was arrested on April 26, 1962 by the DIGEPOL-DISIP (today its equivalent would be the SEBIN) and tortured until his death (May 26), “after which, he was thrown from the fourth floor, to simulate his suicide.  ” (p.287). Regarding this case, the PCV legislator, Gustavo Machado, said before the Chamber of Deputies: “He was tortured to death and after he died in the torture he was thrown out of one of the DIGEPOL windows .” These “words scuttled the efforts of betancourismo and the press of the moment to impose the supposed suicide ”.

Rodríguez was tortured by former National Security officials from the Pérez Jiménez dictatorship “recycled” by the Betancourt government (Neighborhoods, 2012 ; Abreu, 2012 ). “The medical report was reproduced verbatim by Miguel Otero Silva, in his famous book When I want to cry I don’t cry . In fact, this crime was verified by a commission of the Chamber of Deputies of the old Congress, whose report was hidden from public opinion” (CJV, idem). Years later Soto Rojas (1964) and Alberto Lovera (1965) would also be thrown, the first from a helicopter, the second chained into the sea.

On November 19, 1965, the press reported the death of the painter Juan Pedro Rojas Mollegas , who after interrogations was found hanged in a cell of Operations Theater No. 4, but his body never appeared. To this date his whereabouts are unknown (p. 248).

Fabricio Ojeda , on June 19, 1966, was arrested and transferred to the SIFA (today its equivalent would be the DGCIM), three days later he was murdered “and his death presented as a suicide , a version denied by his own corpse, which presented signs evidence of torture” (p.257).

Ten years later, Jorge Rodríguez is arrested on July 23, 1976 and transferred to the DISIP, two days later he is assassinated . They arrested him on Friday and his death was announced on Monday . He entered the police cells “dead, as a result of the beatings and torture received during his detention.” Subsequently, the autopsy revealed that the death was caused by internal bleeding, liver rupture and strong contusions that fractured seven ribs (p.260).

However, initially the official version tried to ” make the murder appear as a suicide .” It is interesting to make contrasts between the reactions of the political left and the Attorney General of the timewith those that can be seen today. In this case, the Director of the political police submitted his resignation and four of his officials were arrested .

After 39 years of these events, in a period of less than 4 years, not only have arrests for political reasons increased by more than 400% , as well as the various violations of their personal integrity , they have also died in custody of the political police three people:

On March 12, 2015, Rodolfo Pedro González Martínez appears committed by suicide at the headquarters of the political police. Two years later, on September 17, the Apureño councilor Carlos Andrés García died when he was transferred from SEBIN to the hospital. And a few days ago Councilor Fernando Albán Salazar died under strange circumstances and under the official story of suicide .

In this last case, the official discourse, before carrying out the rigorous investigations, already defined the event as suicide. In three days, two institutional actors manifested themselves, with three different descriptions of what happened.

Official speeches on the case of the death of the political prisoner, Fernando Albán, who was in the custody of the political police

“…we have learned of the suicide of the Councilor for the Metropolitan Area of ​​Caracas, Fernando Albán Salazar (…) the preliminary version that our officials have collected at the scene, as soon as we heard the news, is that the citizen requested -Albán- to go to the bathroom and while there he threw himself into the void of a 10-story floor.Attorney General appointed by the ANC“Fernando Alban’s suicide was learned (…) At the moment the detainee was going to be transferred to the court, being in the SEBIN waiting room, he threw himself out of a window of the facilities, falling into the void”Minister of Internal Affairs“Albán abruptly got up from the table, saying that he wanted to go to the bathroom , we explained that, he took advantage of that circumstance, saying that he wanted to go to the bathroom and ran towards a panoramic window that was in the corridor on the 10th floor of the headquarters SEBIN in Plaza Venezuela and jumps into the void. Here it has never been said that he jumped from the bathroom ”Attorney General appointed by the ANC
Source: (Minute 2:32 to 2:52)Fountain: 1:04 to 1:31)

Regardless of the circumstances of each of these deaths, the State is “responsible for the lives of persons who are deprived of their liberty (…) or subjected to its authority in any other way” (Article 43 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ). It is essential to demand an autonomous, independent, impartial and reliable investigation into these facts. History has taught us with a lot of blood and suffering that initial and hasty official versions should not be believed a priori.

Publicado originalmente en Provea.

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