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Venezuela: Ex Yaracuy Governor Lapi escapes

By Daniel Duquenal

01.04.07 | I was reporting last Friday that the jail riot in San Felipe could have endangered the life of Lapi, ex governor of Yaracuy. Well, he must have felt the heat because he decided to escape last night. Or so we are told....

See, the situation is not that clear. To begin with Lapi could have escaped long ago. Opportunities for escape have abounded in the last year since he was arrested. But he did not escape. In fact he was making quite an impact as the arrest he suffered under the pretense of corruption after one year was not viable: in one year it has been impossible for the prosecutor to sustain the accusation in such a way that a trial could finally start. Note: the accusations had already been made with Lapi free and this one did not leave the country even after his home had been searched more than once for evidence. The evidence of illegal procedures against Lapi from the prosecution is filling up quite a catalogue on how perverse justice has become in Venezuela, as a judicial system designed only to prosecute political ennemies of chavismo.

In other words, it was a political montage and Lapi played along until apparently his life became endangered. Why? Because current governor, Gimenez, incompetent, corrupt, slimy character and alleged substance abuser has been sinking in the polls and thus, in perfect thug fashion, has decided to arrest whomever could rise against him and challenge him for an election. First he defected astonishingly fast from PODEMOS to avoid chavistas to be the ones signing up for a Recall Election. It is Convergencia, Lapi party who will finally be the one calling for a Recall Election, if they can get 20% of Yaracuy voters to sign, a humongous IF after the Tascon List story. Lapi understood that the game had changed. From being a potential enemy of Chavez Gimenez had managed to neutralize the MVR and now Lapi was the only real threat to Gimenez. Being in jail and with Gimenez a threatened thug in power, Lapi's life suddenly lost any value.

Escape, we hope, was what happened last night. But who knows if Lapi was not "escaped" and his body appearing in some ditch any time soon. All is possible in Yaracuy. You think I might be exaggerating? Listen to the words of the vice minister for security El Assaimi, calling Lapi an "individuo", the term used against any hard core murderer searched by police. We are talking here of an ex governor who until today had played by all the pseudo rules of the game, not a mass murderer who will kill and main on his wake. The discredit campaign against Lapi is going full swing by people not even worthy of cleaning Lapi's toilets.

"hemos logrado el cierre del estado para la recaptura de este individuo. Tengo conocimiento de que ya a nivel nacional se han producido los contactos para evitar la salida de este individuo"

Tarek El Aissami words this morning on VTV, not to journalists that could have asked all the pertinent questions. I rest my case.

Oh! And if you still think that Lapi is just some bandit I will remind you that he was sitting at the negotiation table sponsored by the Carter Center and the OAS in 2003, that he did not want to sign on the agreement (he was proven right since) , that he was one of the most articulate opponents of Chavez and that in more than one opportunity he stood up to him effectively. Lapi is a political prisoner whose life is in danger. ¡Duelale a quien le duela!

By the way, any word on such political prosecution from the OAS and the Carter Center?

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