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Venezuela's cynical Attorney General prosecutes reporter for revealing his manipulation of an investigation

By Miguel Octavio | The Devil's Excrement

01.02.05 | The ability of Venezuelan Government officials to keep a straight face when they know they are being absolutely cynical is simply remarkable and each day they stretch it beyond any point of decency. Case in point are the statements today by Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez in reference to the case of reporter Patricia Poleo.

Here is the man who is in charge of enforcing the law in Venezuela, of prosecuting those that violate the law, who has focused all of his energies in screwing the opposition, ignoring in the case of newspaper reporters more than 300 orders of protection by the Human Rights Commission of the OAS, keeping a straight face and saying that the actions that his office is executing against reporter Poleo in no way have anything to do with harassing “the responsible exercise of reporting for those that do it adjusted to legality”.

As you may recall Poleo’s home was raided last Friday as a prosecutor was trying to figure out who her sources were for the Danilo Anderson case. Anderson, the assassinated prosecutor, was treated as a hero when he died, as the opposition was blamed for the murder. However, in time, it has been revealed that Anderson had absurd large amounts of cash at home and even may have been involved in blackmailing some of the same people he was prosecuting. Most of this information has been exposed by Poleo, who clearly has sources from within the police or the prosecutor’s office that has allowed her to keep exposing the truth behind the case.

Venezuela’s law protects reporters from revealing their sources much like they do in many countries. Poleo is being accused of “manipulating in illegal and improper fashion confidential documentation about the investigations”. Thus, they are going after the reporter using the corruption law, accusing her of “possessing” reserved documents. It turns out that in the raid of her home, they did not even find any original document but photocopies provided by Poleo's sources. In fact, as detailed by Poleo today in her daily column, all of the photocopies they “found” have been published by her in her newspaper. All of this, according to cynical Rodriguez, has not allowed his office to “present any conclusions” about the case.

Well, Rodriguez’ office only appears to reach any conclusions in trumped up charges against opposition figures and the Anderson case is simply another one in a long string of murders that remain unresolved until today. Except for the murders in Altamira square where we are supposed to believe that a single man, with no weapons experience, managed to kill three people and injure 27 with a single handgun, there are more than one hundred politically motivated murders in the last three years in which the Prosecutor’s office has reached no conclusion. From the two dozen people killed on April 11th. , to the bombs at the Colombian and Spanish Embassies, to the murders of Alberto Aumitre, Jose Vilas, Evangelina Carrizo, the Fort Mara soldiers and Maritza Ron, not a single case has been solved by the Prosecutor’s office. In contrast General Uson is in jail for giving an opinion about what happened in Fort Mara and more than 400 people are slowly being charged for breathing the Miraflores air on April 12th. 2002. Of course, nothing is being done about the person that told Venezuela and the world that fateful day that Chavez had resigned. You see, he claimed to have become a Chavista after his famous “The President was asked to resign, which he accepted”.

The Anderson case has revealed that the once heroic and celebrated prosecutor, that one day martyr of the revolution, may have turned out to be more of a representative of that cesspool of corruption and unethical behavior that this Government has become. The assassinated prosecutor has been accused of having hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash at home, led a life not compatible with his salary, had armored cars, motorcycles jet skis and had spent more than his yearly salary just on clothes.

Moreover, as revealed by Poleo, those that were killed the next day as they were “being followed” by the police, had nothing to do with Anderson’s murder, but were killed in their rush to find someone responsible for the murder of Anderson. On top of that, the Prosecutors office is being accused of attempting to disappear some of the evidence, “lose” some of the transcripts of statements made by witnesses. What the Prosecutor is really trying to do is to find the leak, intimidate those giving Poleo information, so that the case can be covered up. The real truth is that the charges of extortion by Anderson's friend Carlos Herrera have been supported by all of the statements of those that were close to Anderson, despite all efforts by the Prosecutor’s office to lead the investigation elsewhere.

Such is the man in charge of upholding the law in Venezuela. The one that fails to prosecute Chavez for receiving illegal campaign funds. That was present at a meeting April 8th. 2002 in which the Government discussed how to stop with weapons the opposition if they tried to march towards the Presidential Palace on the 11th. The same one that is supposed to be impartial, who defends the Government but not the people, who keeps a straight face while violating everything his position stands for, who has twisted legal logic to unheard of levels to achieve revenge against the enemies of the regime and who has betrayed the oath of office he took when he accepted the position.

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