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

By Jorge Arena | The Devil's Excrement

03.07.05 | 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 Chacon.

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

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