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Venezuela: More on the death of Angel Ciro Pedreáńez

By Daniel Duquenal

The plot thickens. Apparently the unfortunate soldier had recovered enough to declare last week to his lawyer in a taped statement that the "punition" cell where he met his end was set on fire on purpose (with some flame throwing device, probably a soldering flame, according to some of the confusing reports). Thus why the mattress did light up very fast causing the tragedy.

The soldier's lawyer also states that he had been trying to get the public ministry to take down the declarations to no avail. So we are left with a single tape whose value in courts, that is in Venezuelan courts, remain to be seen. Details are confirmed by the father, who also added that they were having lunch in the hospital and learned of the death of their son watching TV! Understandably upset he has no qualms to claim foul play.

At least the General Prosecutor has suggested to the Army to relinquish the investigation to his civilian jurisdiction. Apparently the public relation damage is so bad that something must be done to at least pretend that some serious investigation will take place. The Defense Minister seems willing to grab that fig leaf, at least until he thinks of something. He does not have much of a choice at this point as the relatives, certain to sue, want nothing to do with military justice highly damaged by these recent cases.

This is appalling beyond words...

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