Maxima Acuña: the defender of the water

Maxima Acuña de Chaupe in Bern

Maxima Acuña de Chaupe in Bern

Maxima lives in a remote town in the Northern Highlands of Peru, Tragadero Grande in the district of Sorochuco, three hours from the main town of Celendin, Cajamarca. She bought this land with her husband Jaime, in 1994; the transaction was officialised with paperwork proving their ownership. The Chaupe family have lived on this land for twenty-four years in which Maxima would weave and sew garments with her skilled knowledge of the local vegetation for the dying of fabric. She would also sell these products at the market as well as crops from their land.

However in 2011, Yanacocha mining firm undertook its expansion for the Conga project, an open-pit gold and copper with a total surface area of 2,000 hectares. Maxima refused to give her land away to this project. Since then, the Chaupe family became the target of forced eviction attempts, threats and intimidations from the Special Operations Division of the Peruvian National Police (DINOES).

One of these attempts took place on the 9th August 2012 when DINOES members intruded into the Chaupe’s land and violently assaulted the family, unmoved that women were victims of their abuse.

“They threatened my child with their machine guns, they threatened my husband from behind the Fuster, they beat my daughter in law, they took my daughter who knelt before the machinery to the road and beat her. When I saw my daughter passed out on the road, I went to see her and three policemen grabbed me by each arm and more police came ahead. I lost consciousness and they hit me with their sticks; my son took pictures with his phone and they beat him with a stick and he dropped the phone from which he was taking the photos”. Maxima Acuña Chaupe

Máxima’s legal battle to obtain Justice

Maxima Acuña de Chaupe: the defender of the water – from Mama Tierra on Vimeo.

Following these several incidences Maxima filed a complaint at the local Police Commissioner, denouncing the physical aggression from Yanacocha staff and DINOES, the impact these have made on her safety and wellbeing.Yanacocha representatives retaliated against the Chaupe family accusing them of usurpation. On the 29th October 2012, Maxima and her family were found guilty of ‘illegal occupation’ and were sentenced to three years suspended prison sentence. In addition they were ordered to pay 200 soles (72 USD) in compensation to Yanacocha.

In August 2013, a court annulled the 2012 ruling that accused Maxima and her family of usurpation. The judge found that the first ruling presented a series of irregularities, including the failure to consider evidence presented by Maxima Acuña’s family, such as their land purchase documentation. The judge ordered a new trial.

Although this is seemingly a positive step towards justice for the Chaupe family, the hearings are systematically postponed denying Maxima the right to Justice and freedom from these aggressions. Meanwhile, the violence against Maxima and her family, the virulent attempts at forcefully evicting her from her property and the infringements to her personal safety have continued.

Until now, neither Yanacocha nor any DINOES personnel have been charged for assaulting Maxima. She is frustrated at seeing that her denunciations are not taken seriously and feels that the Peruvian government and judicial system has failed its own citizens in siding with the mining company.

“The municipalities are just as guilty as the mine because they had not informed us that the mine will come to our community. […] They had not looked for dialogue at all. It is such a great pain all that we have been through with the mine.” – Maxima Acuña Chaupe.

Advocates are calling on the authorities to “thoroughly investigate all acts of human rights violations, intimidation, threats and harassment to Maxima Acuña Chaupe and her family, committed by the Yanacocha mining company, its private security forces and the National Police of Peru.” They are also requesting investigations on a series of alleged illegal evictions and acquisition of property.

Maxima and lawyer Mirtha Vasquez after sentencing was declared void. Source: Red Ulam, 2013

Insecurity and urgent need for protection

Maxima alleges she still fears for her life, that she is scared to leave her house and to be followed by Yanacocha personnel or DINOES.  ‘I fear for my life, for the life of my husband, for the lives of my children and for the lives of the people in my community who defend us and our water’, says Maxima Chaupe.

As a measure of protection, Máxima has allowed local Ronderos to 4 camp on her land since October 2013. Sadly this has not protected her. Maxima reports that DINOES and workers of the mine frequently record her as she goes about her daily activities. This constant surveillance and restriction of movement has made Maxima concerned for her and family’s safety. She is extremely isolated and scared to leave her land for fear that DINOES and mine workers will destroy her home and crops – everything she has.

Maxima’s concerns are real, on various occasions she has suffered targeted attacks although the trial is still underway; for example, at 10:30am on the 30th January 2014, Maxima received a phone call from a private number telling her “leave your property or you will be killed” (Salga de su propiedad, si no, vas a morir).

One hour later, she was farming with her daughter when two DINOES entered her land and told her to stop working the land as it is not theirs. Two further DINOES were standing on the side of her land and a further four remained in pick-up trucks parked in front of her home. At 12pm on the same day, one armed DINOES and one police officer entered Máxima’s home and told everyone to leave immediately and to stop cultivating the land. When Maxima rang the local radio station to denounce their actions, the officers left.

Facing these threats, Máxima has yet to be offered protection by the Peruvian government. However, with the help of her family and other residents of Cajamarca, opposed to the Conga project, Máxima is keeping on the fight to defend her land and its resources.

In view of the above Maxima, and MAMA TIERRA demand:

– Guarantee her physical safety and that of each member of her family and all human rights defenders that oppose the mining project. Ronderos are Campesinos/Campesinas en Peru who traditionally provide protection in rural areas

– Guarantee that police and DINOES officers stop entering her home and land without her consent as well as halting all acts of intimidation including the recording and monitoring of her activities.

-Give an explanation as to why Peruvian National services are intimidating and harassing a citizen who has not broken the law.

-Carry out an in-depth investigation into all violations of human rights, intimidations, threats and harassment that she and her family have been subject to, committed by the mining company Minas Yanacocha, their private security forces, and the National Police of Peru. Maxima and her family, Source: El Cajamarquino, 2013

What you can do to support Maxima?

– Send a letter to Valcambi,the Swiss raffinery which buys 70% of the gold of the Yanachocha gold, asking them to force their suppliers to follow sustainable policies which respect human rights. Valcambi via Passeggiata 3, 6828 Balerna. 

– Send a letter to Peruvian Ambassador in your country of residence and/or Ollanta:

Humala, President of the Republic of Peru, Ollanta Humala, Presidente de la Republica de Peru, Casa Presidencial, Jirón de La Unión s/n, Lima, Peru

 Stating your dismay at the mistreatment of Maxima and her family and urging them to put a halt on forced eviction for the expansion of mining industries.

– Send a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders and/or the InterAmerican Commission Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders  informing them of Máxima’s battle to protect her livelihood and her land.

Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Palais Wilson, United Nations Office CH 1211Geneva 10, Switzerland

– Send a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders and/or the InterAmerican Commission Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

 Sr. Jose Jesus Orozco Henriquez, Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Inter-American, Commission on Human Rights, 1889 F St., N.W. , Washington, D.C., 20006, US

– Send a letter to Yanacocha (see contact below) urging them to cease their intimidation Campaign against Máxima and to recognise their responsibility in these attacks.

Minera Yanacocha S.R.L, Av. La Paz 1049, Edificio Miracorp, Piso 5, Miraflores, Lima,San Isidro

– Support Red Ulam, a network of Women Human Rights Defenders to which Maxima belongs to and subscribe for updates on the Campaign.



Maxima Acuña Chaupe – Die Beschützerin des Wassers

Maxima Acuña de Chaupe

Maxima Acuña de Chaupe ist Analphabetin aber ein Leader ihrer Gemeinschaft

Die Quechua Maxima Acuña Chaupe hat in Bern die Gewalt geschildert, der sie in Peru täglich ausgesetzt ist. Maxima sitzt buchstäblich auf einer Goldmine, reich ist sie aber nicht; im Gegenteil.
Die grösste Goldmine weltweit droht ihr mit Mord, falls sie ihr Land nicht verlässt. Die peruanische Bergbaufirma Yanachocha plant den Bau der Conga-Mine auf  ihr Anwesen. Dieses Anwesen hat Maxima unter grösster Mühe zusammen mit ihrem Mann gekauft. “Mein Schweiss ist in jedem Zentimeter Land, das ich besitze. Es ist einfach nicht fair”, sagt sie.
70% des Goldes importiert ein Schweizer Unternehmen. Maxima wünscht sich deshalb Unterstützung von der Schweizer Bevölkerung und Regierung, da es in ihrer Heimat keine Gerechtigkeit gebe. 
Schweizer Goldraffinerie mitverantwortlich
Die grösste Käuferin des Goldes der Minera Yanacocha, der Bergbaufirma, die Maxima das Leben schwer macht, ist die Tessiner Raffinerie Valcambi in Balerna: In den letzten Jahren kaufte Valcambi zwischen 60% und 70% des gesamten exportierten Yanacocha-Goldes, so die Gesellschaft für Bedrohte Völker in Bern. Alleine im ersten Quartal von 2014 importierte das Tessiner Unternehmen 5,9 Tonnen Gold im Wert von 157 Millionen USD von Yanacocha. Sowohl Minera Yanacocha als auch Valcambi werden vom amerikanischen Goldkonzern Newmont Mining kontrolliert. Recherchen der Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV) zeigen: Die Goldproduktion der alten Yanacocha-Mine geht deutlich zurück – die Mine brauche angeblich einen neuen Standort. LAMMP und die GfbV befürchten, dass Minera Yanacocha den Bau der Mine Conga aus diesem Grund – auch gegen den Willen grosser Teile der Bevölkerung – durchzusetzen versucht.

Ein Kampf zwischen David und Goliath

Zusammen mit ihrer Tochter Ysidora kämpft Maxima gegen die Vertreibung durch das Yanacocha-Unternehmen. Ständig sind die Frauen Einschüchterungen ausgesetzt. Manchmal stehen 300 Polizisten vor dem Haus von Maxima und fordern sie auf, ihr Land aufgrund von illegaler Besetzung zu verlassen. Die Eigentumspapiere von Maxima kümmern die Polizei nicht. Der öffentliche Bus, der sie in die nächste Stadt bringt, hält auf Anordnung der Yanacocha-Mine meistens nicht. Manchmal müssen sie Tage in ihrem Haus eingeschlossen bleiben, weil Männer vor ihrem Anwesen lauern, die ihnen etwas antun könnten. Männer haben ihr Haus verwüstet und in Brand gesetzt. Nicht einmal ein Löffel ist ganz geblieben. Maxima bleibt stark. Als Beschützerin des Wassers, wie sie sich nennt, weigert sie sich, ihr Land zu verkaufen.

Maxima Acuña de Chaupe: the defender of the water – from Mama Tierra on Vimeo.


Vor dem Bergbau, nach dem Bergbau (Venezuela)

Zerstörung der Umwelt

Der Bau der Mine Conga hat massive Eingriffe in die Umwelt zur Folge: Vier Bergseen werden verschwinden und damit wird eine ganze Region in den Anden mit bedrohten Tierarten trockengelegt. Das Gebiet mit der reinsten Luft der Welt würde verseucht werden.

Das Einverständnis der betroffenen Bevölkerung wurde nie eingeholt

Die Macht der Akteure ist in Peru sehr ungleich verteilt. Im Dezember letzten Jahres zeigte die GfbV zusammen mit peruanischen Organisationen auf, wie Rohstofffirmen mit meist geheimgehaltenen Verträgen jederzeit Einsätze der Nationalpolizei gegen die Bevölkerung beantragen können. Diese Rohstofffirmen unterstützen die Einsätze finanziell, materiell und logistisch. Staatliche und wirtschaftliche Interessen verbünden sich damit gegen die Interessen der lokalen Bevölkerung, eine Lösung des Konflikts rückt in weite Ferne.

Brutale Auseinandersetzungen 

Seit Herbst 2011 nehmen die Konflikte um die Mine Conga zu; im Juli 2012 starben bei Protesten fünf Personen. Kurz darauf besetzten Dutzende von Polizisten ohne richterliche Genehmigung das Landgut von Maxima Acuña.

Maxima Acuña ist 150 cm gross

Maxima Acuña ist 150 cm gross


Maxima und Ysidora Acuña sowie die GfbV und LAMMP fordern die Schweizer Raffinerie Valcambi auf, sich bei ihrer Schwesterfirma Yanacocha für eine friedliche Lösung des Konflikts einzusetzen. Valcambi soll Einfluss nehmen, damit Yanacocha das Mitbestimmungsrecht der Lokalbevölkerung respektiert. Ausserdem wird das Schweizer Unternehmen aufgefordert, eine Sorgfaltsprüfung aller Aktivitäten durchzuführen und die Namen sämtlicher Rohgoldlieferanten zu publizieren. Denn die Firmen haben es in der Hand, ob einer der blutigsten Rohstoffkonflikte Perus friedlich gelöst wird oder weiter eskaliert.

Vom Opfer zur Aktivistin

Die Nichtregierungsorganisation Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme (LAMMP) schult Indigene und Bäuerinnen zu Aktivisten. So können Sie Eigenverantwortung übernehmen und selber für ihre Rechte kämpfen. Maxima beschützt weiter die Wasserquellen. Begleitet von LAMMP informiert sie die Menschenrechtsgremien bei der UNO in Genf über die massiven Einschüchterungsversuche.

Was kannst du tun, um Maxima zu helfen?

– Schreibe eine Postkarte an Valcambi, via Passeggiata 3, 6828 Balerna

Bitte die Raffinerie, die Menschenrechte der Quechua-Indigenen wie Maxima zu respektieren.

– Schreibe eine Postkarte an die peruanische Botschaft in Bern: Embajada del Perú en Suiza, Thunstrasse 36, 3005 Bern
Bitte die Regierung von Peru, die Menschenrechte der Quechua-Indigenen wie Maxima zu schützen.

– Spende hier, dieses Geld geht direkt an Maxima

Kein Blut am Finger!

Heiratest du bald? Recycle Gold, es liegt genügend Gold in den Banken oder in Antiquitätenläden. Gehe zu einem Goldschmied und lass dir daraus einen Ehering anfertigen. Ich persönlich boykottiere die Goldindustrie, weil ich den Gedanken nicht aushalte, Menschen das Leben mit meinem Kauf zur Hölle zu machen und dazu die Umwelt zu zerstören.

Ein Teil des Textes basiert auf einer Pressemeldung der GfbV

Request for the withdrawal of the accreditation of theVenezuelan People’s Defender – submission of reports

Geneva, March 19, 2014

To the attention of : Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA)

Purpose: Extraordinary request for the revision and withdrawal of Venezuela and Submission of Reports

Distinguished Members of the Sub Committee on Accreditation,

On May 2013, pursuant to article 15 of the Statute, the SCA considered applications for re-accreditation from the NHRI of Venezuela, and the SCA subsequently recommended that the Defensoria del Pueblo de Venezuela (DPV) be re-accredited A status.

In the May 2013 report, the SCA mentioned it sought additional information on whether the DPV had made statements or recommendations on recent human rights concerns in three particular instances, namely: the continued detention of Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni; the withdrawal of Venezuela from the American Convention on Human Rights; and the Uribana prison incident.

The SCA was then of the view that the DPV’s response at interview did not show that it had taken a strong public position on these issues. It did not, for example, call for the end to the continued detention of Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni. In additional it did not speak publicly about the importance of respect for judicial independence notwithstanding the recent report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which considers such detention as a “reprisal” (A/HRC/22/44 (24 December 2012) paragraph 22). Furthermore, the SCA noted that it was unaware of any strong recommendations made by the DPV arising from the Uribana prison incident.

The SCA considered then the DPV’s silence on the country’s withdrawal from the American Convention on Human Rights incompatible with the obligation of an NHRI to advocate for the ratification of Human Rights treaties.

The SCA strongly urged the DPV to be more pro-active in the exercise and fulfillment of its mandate, and that it take a clear public stand on critical domestic human rights issues. The SCA highlighted the importance of NHRI’s responding within a reasonable time to alleged gross human rights violations, noting that the delay in doing so impacts adversely on the perceived independence and credibility of, and public confidence in, a NHRI.

The SCA received a submission from NGOs that was then sent to the DPV for comment. However, as the original submission was not received within the time proscribed by the SCA, it was not possible to translate and consider the submission or the DPV’s response.

The SCA also encouraged the DPV to develop policies and procedures to ensure that staff representation is broad and pluralistic. As of today, not a single staff is from other political party than the PSUV (Chavez political party, and Ombudsman’s one). The Ombudsman and the General Attorney proudly reiterate to be part of the Government’s majority. You will see in one of the reports submitted (UCAB’s report) that between other things the Ombudsman proudly exhibit a profile picture with defunct President Chavez.

Geneva, March 19, 2014


We would like to mention that because of Venezuela’s withdrawal of the American Convention, all the citizens are now, since September 2013, in a legal vacuum regarding the claiming and defense of their rights before an international tribunal. The SCA may already know that on September 6, 2012, Venezuela formally notified the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) of its intent to withdraw. Venezuelan officials have accused the Court of acting as a puppet to United States interests, and of meddling with Venezuela’s national sovereignty. Recent decisions by both the IACtHR and the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) drew derision from Venezuela.

In July, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez reiterated statements made a few months earlier that the country would withdraw after the Court issued a decision in Díaz Peña v. Venezuela that required Venezuela provide compensation for the inhumane detention of Raúl José Díaz Peña. That same month, the Commission sent another case to the Court, Hermanos Landaeta Mejías v. Venezuela, and cited Venezuela’s failure to comply with its recommendation that the alleged arbitrary detention and extrajudicial killings of the Mejías brothers be fully investigated. Through its reports, the Commission has expressed concern about political intolerance, restriction of free speech, impunity for human rights violations, and highlighted the Venezuelan government’s reluctance to allow the Commission to conduct observation visits for the past ten years. Most recently, the IACHR urged Venezuela to investigate reports of a massacre of the Yanomami indigenous people last year by illegal Brazilian miners inside Venezuelan borders. Just one day later Venezuela formally notified the OAS of its intent to withdraw from the Convention. (Human Rights Brief)

The Ombusdman never condemned the withdrawal, and never answered the doubts raised after President Chavez’s decision. As for now, the only judicial instance able to judge the huge human rights violations committed in Venezuela is the Venezuelan judicial system, which is well known for its partiality and non independence (United Nations).

Through this petition, we would like to raise concerns over:

  • –  The lack of financial independence. Indeed, the DPV is required to seek the approval of the government for expenses, and depends only on the Government, violating as such article 4 of the Ombudsman’s Organic Law, and the Paris Principles. Such a situation has implications for the financial independence of the institution.
  • –  The lack of impartiality. Indeed, the Ombudsman is more likely to pay attention to the complaints of service failures rather than abuses related to citizens, violating as such articles 3, 7 and 14 of the Ombudsman’s Organic Law, and the Paris Principles.
  • –  The lack of independence. Indeed, the Ombudsman, Gabriela Ramirez, has been know as the “Defensores del Puesto” (“Defenders of the position”) spending her time more defending the untenable positions of the Government regarding human rights violations, than those of the people. Over the last few week, little has been heard from Ramirez, while repression blossomed in Venezuela. Moreover, during a parallel event organized by the Venezuelan Mission at the Palais des Nations on 16 May 2014 in Room XXIII, the General Attorney explicitly raised concerned over the deaths of three National Guards instead of the deaths of at least twenty-five young students and some adults due to the failure of National Guards to abide by the mandate of protecting their citizens since the protests escalated on 12 February 2014.The SCA might be aware of the situation in Venezuela since 2 February 2014, when protests began. Indeed, 30 dead, hundreds injured, some 2000 arrested (105 condemned to jail so far

for protesting) and denunciations of torture, illegal repression by security forces and irregular groups and attacks on the press are the fruits of over a month of political confrontation in the streets of some 30 Venezuelan cities.

The Government of Venezuela is violating the United Nations’ basic principles on the use of force and firearms [approved in Havana in 1990], with regulatory bodies like the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office treating them with contempt.

According to eye-witnesses, press investigations and videos circulating on social networks and other websites (including online press), several protesters were shot to death by plain-clothes police, by armed groups (accused and witnessed to be working for the Government) that intimidated protesters and initiated and carried out violent incidents, or by pellets allegedly fired by members of the militarized Bolivarian National Guard. In several cities there were reports that young detainees were soaked with gasoline and threatened with being set on fire, were tortured with electric prods, or raped with weapons. There were also reports of security agents shooting at, raiding and throwing tear gas canisters into private residences, as well as destroying private property.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office, which should act ex officio, have turned though a deaf ear, improperly issuing opinions ahead of time in favour of the Government and blaming opposition leaders, and also remaining silent when evidence was contaminated by executive branch officials.

Despite more than a month of protests, Ramirez has been fairly invisible. In fact, a few days ago, she claimed not to have any accusations of torture, despite individuals making them (56 so far have been submitted to the OHCHR), as well as those of Foro Penal Venezolano, which have been very clear and extremely specific and quantitative (Alfredo Romero tweets and updates regularly under @alfredoromero in Twitter). In fact, Ramirez claims that “bullets” have come from “somewhere else” while there are numerous videos which show cops, police and National Guard shooting real bullets at people, exactly what Ramirez says is prohibited.

Finally, on 8 March 2014, she said in a public statement that “la tortura tiene un sentido, por eso nosotros tenemos que ser muy rigurosos con el uso de los términos. La tortura se emplea para obtener información…” (Torture makes sense, that is why we have to be rigorous in the use of terms. Torture is used to obtain information…), which caused a lot of controversy and suggested that she was not impartial in the alleged cases of torture to students by the National Guards.

This is why, according to the recommendation provided by the Secretariat, we kindly submit through this petition an extraordinary request to revise and withdraw the accreditation given to Venezuela, due to the urgency of the situation, the human rights emergency in the country, and the clear violation of the Paris Principles by the Ombudsman.

You will find in this regard six complete reports submitted by the signatories of this petition, providing details on the aforementioned violations of the Paris Principles by the DPV:

  1. A Report and its annexes elaborated by the Human Rights Commission of the Venezuelan Political Party MUD, under the direction of Delsa Solorzano, Coordinator of said Human Rights Commission, and Deputy to the Latin American parliament
  2. A report elaborated by the Inter-American Bar Association, which highlights clearly the lack of independence of the Ombusdman, under the direction of Rafael Veloz, President of the Venezuelan Chapter , Inter-American Bar Association (IABA), former President of the IABA
  1. A petition introduced by Lawyers Thelma Rodriguez and Jose Amalio Graterol (Judge Afiuni’s Lawyers), against a Mayor prohibiting the right to peaceful protest and assembly, as well as the right to movement within the municipality of Libertador, highlighting the complete lack of support from the Ombudsman.
  2. A report on human rights violations against the Indigenous group “Wayuu” and “Yukpa”, never attended by the Ombusdman, elaborated by Katherine Portman, indigenous specialist, member of the NGO Benposta,
  3. A report on general human rights violations committed by the Government, never denounced by the Ombusdman, elaborated by Gianna Alessandra Sanchez Moretti, ex-official of the UNESCO and Consultant for UNITAR.

A report on political persecution over 2013, highlighting the complete absence of involment of the Ombusdman to defend the persecuted people, elaborated by the NGO Venezuela A wareness

We also enclose for your information a public Report elaborated by the Universidad Catolica Andrés Bello, which highlights clearly all the violations mentioned supra.

Thank you for your time and attention. Sincerely yours,

Delphine Patetif

Screenshot 2014-03-23 07.52.40Permanent Representative of FIACAT to the United Nations Volunteer Contributor to the Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal Venezolano


  • –  Delsa Solorzano, Deputy to the Latin American parliament; Coordinator of the Human Rights Commission, MUD
  • –  Rafael Veloz, President of the Venezuelan Chapter , Inter-American Bar Association (IABA), former President of the IABA
  • –  Thelma Rodriguez and José Amalio Graterol (Judge Afiuni’s Lawyers)
  • –  Katherine Portman, indigenous specialist, member of the NGO Benposta, working for indigenous children in Venezuela, member of the Swiss association Benposta’s friends. CEO of Wayoo International. Journalist. Master in Communication Sciences and Economics.
  • –  Gianna Alessandra Sanchez Moretti, PhD candidate in Law, University of Brasilia. Master in International Studies and Human Rights. Ex-official of the UNESCO. Consultant for UNITAR.
  • –  Patricia Andrade, Director of the NGO Venezuela Awareness

Mentiras de los políticos venezolanos en la ONU – ¡nadie cuestionó nada!

Hacer click para ver en grande
Página web de la Denfensoría del Pueblo, públicada el 13. de marzo 2014

La noticia publicada el pasado jueves en la página web de la Defensoría del Pueblo, desconcertó a la comunidad venezolana.  Mientras que un grupo protestaba en frente de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (O.N.U.) en contra de las violaciones recientes de los derechos humanos (DDHH) en Venezuela, la Defensora del Pueblo Gabriela Ramírez anunció en Twitter un supuesto “premio” otorgado por la O.N.U.

Aparentemente, Ramírez recibió dicho premio por el excelente trabajo realizado por ella y la institución que representa. En la foto que publicó, la Defensora del pueblo, recibe con una sonrisa triunfante el honorable reconocimiento por la O.N.U. Flavia Pansieri, la Alta Comisionada Adjunta de las Naciones Unidas de Derechos Humanos y el Sr. Lawrence Mushwana, el Presidente de la Institución para la Protección de los Derechos Humanos (CIC ), le habrían otorgado esta “máxima acreditación”.

Screenshot 2014-03-19 02.47.26

Delphine Patetif es abogada de derechos humanos y Representante Permanente de la ONG FIACAT en las Naciones Unidas. Anunció que la acreditación de Venezuela sera revisada por la O.N.U.!

En realidad, la foto no fue tomada en marzo 2014, sino en mayo 2013. Además, el “reconocimiento” se refería retrospectivamente al período entre 2007 y 2012.  Tampoco se trata de una distinción, ni un sello ISO, ni mucho menos un “premio honorable”, si no de una simple acreditación tipo “A” para la asistencia a eventos de la O.N.U. Screenshot 2014-03-19 02.55.33Es decir, con esta acreditación el Comité (CIC),  le concede a la Defensoría de Pueblo asesoría en el campo de DDHH, participar a reuniones de la O.N.U. sobre los DDHH y adicionalmente el derecho a reenviar informes a otras Defensorías en el mundo sobre el tema. Actualmente las Defensorías del Pueblo de 70 países llevan la misma acreditación tipo “A”. Países donde se violan los DDHH todos los días, tal cómo: Afganistan, Russia y Uganda. La ONG Wikileaks, considerada la heroína del periodismo investigativo, publicó un informe sobre la actuación inadecuada del Defensor Público sudafricano Lawrence Mushwana. Se trata del escándalo de corrupción político más grande en Sur Africa. Implicados estuvieron el Congreso Nacional Africano y la compañía petrolera Petro SA. La corte Suprema de Pretoria criticó a Mushwana de supuestamente manejar la investigación inadecuadamente, protegiendo los intereses del Congreso Nacional Africano.

El viernes pasado, la Fiscal General Luisa Ortega Díaz informó a la comunidad internacional acerca de su versión de la situación de los DDHH en Venezuela. No como anunciado en el XXV Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la O.N.U.; si no en una actividad separada organizada por la Misión Permanente de la República Venezolana en Ginebra durante la misma fecha.

Ortega: Grupo violento actúa anti-constitucionalmente. "Lo que ha traído la muerte de 28 venezolanos".

Ortega: Grupo violento actúa anti-constitucionalmente. “Lo que ha traído la muerte de 28 venezolanos”.

Ortega acusó a los manifestantes venezolanos de actuar agresivamente contra la instituciones del Estado, apoyados por los EE.UU. La fiscal también acusó a EE.UU. “de violar los DDHH en Guantánamo, de la invasión a Vietnam y Afganistán”. De acuerdo a Ortega, la intención de Washington es de  “tratar de financiar la violencia en Venezuela”.

El 6 de Marzo expertos independientes de la O.N.U. solicitaron al Gobierno venezolano el esclarecimiento de las denuncias de detenciones arbitrarias y de uso de violencia contra manifestantes y periodistas. Poco antes la Alta Comisionada para los Derechos Humanos, Navanethem Pillay instó a una investigación imparcial, independiente y exhaustiva de todos los casos de muertes y lesiones . Pero, ¿cómo se va a lograr esto cuando la Oficina de la Defensoría  del Pueblo de Venezuela, la cual está a cargo de la defensa de los derechos humanos, está mintiendo públicamente y nadie de los que representan dichas instituciones internacionales se ha nisiquiera quejado? La prensa internacional tampoco ayuda. El periodista de Associated Press, con sede en la O.N.U., John Heilprin , simplemente repitió el monólogo de los políticos venezolanos como un loro sin siquiera hacerle preguntas. La prensa en Venezuela simplemente publicó la noticia de la Defensoría del Pueblo. Me sorprendió ver que un medio de comunicación como el Universal, no verificara la la veracidad del supuesto premio!

El Viernes 14 de Marzo, los parlamentarios venezolanos Alfonso Marquina, miembro del partido de oposición Mesa de Unión Democrática (MUD)  y Francisco García (Parlatino), asistieron a reuniones de la Unión Interparlamentaria  (UIP). Su propósito era de  hacerle seguimiento a denuncias introducidas previamente ante la UIP sobre violaciones de los derechos humanos de un grupo de parlamentarios venezolanos, quienes fueron golpeados en la Asamblea Nacional el año pasado. Como era de esperar, los parlamentarios también informaron acerca de la reciente agresión sufrida por María Corina Machado. Los periodistas de la O.N.U. no entrevistan a estos parlamentarios. Por qué?

La O.N.U., la Unión Europea, Amnistía Internacional, UN Watch, el Papa, Madonna,  actores de Hollywood y políticos como el Secretario de Estado de EE.UU., John Kerry, han expresado su preocupación por la manera tan violenta en la que se han reprimido las manifestaciones pacíficas en Venezuela. Han habido alrededor de 800 heridos y más de 1.100 personas han sido detenidas y  44 casos de tortura según Foro Penal. Mientras tanto la violencia y los casos de tortura y muerte  aumentan a diario en Venezuela.

Video realizado por la O.N.G. Foro Penal, en el cual denuncia los abusos de derechos humanos en el país. La organización Foro Penal es responsable de proveer defensa legal gratuita a los estudiantes y también es responsable de revelar las detenciones de activistas políticos.

¿Usted cree que la Defensoría del Pueblo de Venezuela es realmente una institución independiente? ¿Que está realmente separada del partido político que gobierna al país? 

Leyenda de la foto: La Defensora del Pueblo Gabriela Ramírez con el Presidente Hugo Chávez. Por mucho tiempo, ésta fue la imagen oficial del perfil de la Defensoría del Pueblo venezolana en su cuenta de Twitter.

Leyenda de la foto: La Defensora del Pueblo Gabriela Ramírez con el Presidente Hugo Chávez. Por mucho tiempo, ésta fue la imagen oficial del perfil de la Defensoría del Pueblo venezolana en su cuenta de Twitter.

Con respecto a las violaciones de los derechos humanos que las autoridades han infligido en la población, Gabriela Ramírez afirmó recientemente que: ”La tortura tiene un sentido. Se emplea para obtener una confesión, se le aplica (al interrogado) sufrimiento físico para obtener una confesión”. Anclada en la Constitución venezolana, la Defensoría del Pueblo fue creada para abogar por los derechos humanos de los ciudadanos venezolanos. Y esto debería hacerse independientemente de los intereses del gobierno, exactamente de la misma manera que una Organización No Gubernamental (O.N.G.) actuaría.

Escrito en ingles por la activista ambiental e indigenista, periodista y emprendedora social Katherine Portmann Montero Suiza y Zuliana, de raíces guajiras
Traducido al español por Lourdes Grollimund – Venezolana residente en Suiza

Lies and manoeuvres of Venezuelan politicians in Geneva – No one does anything!

People Defender’s Office Website

People Defender’s Office Website

The news published on the Venezuelan People Defender’s Office website on Thursday 13th March, struck the Venezuelan community in Switzerland. While Venezuelans were protesting in front of the U.N. against the human rights violations in their country, their Ombudswoman Gabriela Ramírez tweeted about a “prize” she had received from the U.N.  Apparently, for the excellent work Ramírez and her institution carry out. The Ombudswoman was pictured receiving an acknowledgement from Flavia Pansieri, the U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and Mr Lawrence Mushwana, described as Chairman of the Institution for Protection of Human Rights (ICC). In reality, the picture was not taken the 13th March 2014 but back in 2013. Moreover, the “recognition” referred retrospectively to the period from 2007 to 2012. Here is the news in English.

This February, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced deep concern with regard to the excessive use of force by the Venezuelan authorities in response to protests. Ms. Pillay urged an impartial, full and independent investigation into every case of death and injury. But how? When the Venezuelan People Defender’s Office, in charge of defending the human rights, is lying publicly and nobody representing those international institution even complain? The Associated Press journalist based at the U.N.,  John Heilprin, just repeated the monologue of the Venezuelan politicians like a parrot without even asking them questions.

Gabriela Ramírez said recently with regard to the human rights violations of the authorities that; “Torture has a meaning. It is used to obtain a confession; a physical suffering is inflicted (on the detainee) in order to lure a confession. We have to differentiate this from excessive treatment or from disproportionate use of force.” Ramírez is the highest deputy of the People Defender’s Office in Venezuela. Anchored in the Venezuelan constitution, the People Defender’s Office is to advocate for the human rights of Venezuelan citizens. And this independently from any interest from the government. Just like an Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) would act.

Parliamentarian Maria Corina Machado beaten up. Again!

On Tuesday members members of Chávez’s socialist party, including the Deputy Nancy Ascencio, beat up the parlamentarian and oppositional leader Maria Corina Machado. The brutal attack happened in Puerto Ordaz, where also the Bishop of Guyana Mariano Parra was injured, among other detractors of the Venezuelan government.

On Friday the Venezuelan parliamentarians Alfonso Marquina, member of the opposition party (MUD) and Francisco García (Parlatino) attended meetings at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Their purpose was to follow up on complaints made previously to the IPU about violations of human rights to a group of Venezuelan parliamentarians, who were beaten before in the Venezuelan National Assembly 2013. Of course, the parliamentarians reported the recent aggression of Maria Corina Machado as well. The U.N. journalists did not interview these parliamentarians. Why?

Ortega at the U.N.

Ortega at the U.N. 14th March 2014

Also this week, Venezuela’s chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz was supposed to inform the international community about the human rights situation in her country, during the 25th session of the Human Rights Council at the U.N. Instead, Ortega blamed the Venezuelan protestors of acting aggressively against the states institutions, backed up by the U.S. Additionally, the prosecutor also accused United Stated of “violating human rights in Guantanamo, invading Vietnam and Afghanistan”. Following Ortega; Washington’s intention is “seeking to fund violence in Venezuela”. 

“If you can’t convince them confuse them” – Garfield

It seems that accusing the U.S. is an overall strategy of Caracas to deviate the attention of the serious human rights violations in Venezuela. The Venezuelan politicians have repeatedly accused the US of orchestrating social unrest in the country, which left 28 people dead. Nearly all victims, who were protestors, were shot in the head by the armed forces of President Maduro. Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Elias Jaua, has accused US Secretary of State, John Kerry, of inciting violence and called him a “murderer”. President Nicolas Maduro suggested his American counterpart, Barack Obama, following advice: “let’s hope that Mr Obama doesn’t pass into history as the man who attacked Venezuela and filled it with violence.”

The UN, the European Union, Amnesty International, UN Watch, the Pope, Madonna, Hollywood actors and politicians like US Secretary of State John Kerry have expressed their concerns over the violent way demonstrations have been suppressed in Venezuela. There have been about 800 injured and more than 1100 people arrested.  Even more, the NGO “Foro Penal” (Criminal Forum) adds 44 cases of torture. 

Meanwhile violence, torture and death tolls increase daily in Venezuela. Watch this documentaries, share it, tell your neighbour about it. Please spread the word. #SOSVenezuela

Video from the NGO Foro Penal reporting human rights abuses. Foro Penal is responsible for providing free legal defense for students and also to disclose the arrests of political activists.

Watch this documentary from the Venezuelan students.

 Is the Venezuelan People Defender’s Office really an independent institution? Is it really separated of the socialist party? 

Ombudswoman Gabriela Ramírez with the President Hugo Chavez

Ombudswoman Gabriela Ramírez with the President Hugo Chavez. This was for a long time the official image of the Twitter account of  the Venezuelan People Defender’s Office.


El ministerio público de Venezuela emitirá mañana declaraciones sobre derechos humanos ante la ONU en evento abierto al público

El Ministerio Público de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela explicará la actual situación de los derechos humanos en el país ante organismos internacionales. Los disturbios políticos han causado un saldo de 21 muertes – la mayoría por tiros en la cabeza –, como también cerca de 800 heridos y más 1100 apresados. A esto la ONG Foro Penal suma 44 casos de tortura. Por su lado los Relatores Especiales de la ONU constan de un incremento en denuncias de violaciones de derechos humanos en Venezuela.

La Misión Permanente Bolivariana de la República de Venezuela convoca mañana viernes 14 de Marzo en horas de la 1:30 de la tarde una rueda de prensa, donde los ministerios públicos venezolanos informarán sobre la situación de los derechos humanos en Venezuela en el marco de la Vigésimo-Quinta sesión del Consejo de Derechos Humano. En esta ocasión la Fiscal de la República Luisa Ortega Díaz, acompañada de la Defensora del Pueblo Gabriela Ramírez, discutirán la actuación de sus respectivas instituciones sobre las denuncias de violaciones a los derechos humanos recibidas. Paralelamente parlamentarios venezolanos de la oposición, como Alfonso Marquina (Mesa de Union Democrática MUD) y Francisco García (Parlatino) asistirán a reuniones en la Unión Interparlamentaria Mundial (UIP). Su propósito es hacerle seguimiento a denuncias introducidas previamente ante la UIP sobre violaciones de los derechos humanos de un grupo de parlamentarios venezolanos, quienes fueron golpeados en la Asamblea Nacional el año pasado.

¿Contradicciones entre declaraciones de la Defensora del Pueblo y ONGs?

Mientras el director de la ONG Foro Penal Alfredo Romero denunció el sábado 44 casos de tortura, Gabriela Ramírez, sin investigación previa, minimizó el número de incidentes de violación de derechos humanos. De la misma manera Ramírez atribuyó la mayoría de las muertes durante las recientes protestas en Venezuela a grupos de la oposición. Foro Penal ha expuesto casos de torturas en Barinas, la ciudad natal del difunto Presidente Hugo Chávez. Ahí en Barinas las autoridades supuestamente: “obligaron a manifestantes adolescentes a caminar desnudos en el centro de la ciudad, exponiéndolos así al escarnio público”, explicó Romero. Otras denuncias de torturas emanados por Foro Penal incluyen supuestos abusos sexuales, golpes con cascos y bates de béisbol, el porte forzado de una camisa impregnada con gasolina y la fractura de dedos y manos por pisoteo. Foro Penal se encarga de brindar defensa legal gratuita a los estudiantes y divulgar los arrestos de activistas políticos.

¿Cual es la misión de la Defensoría del Pueblo en Venezuela?

Aunque la Defensoría del Pueblo, como órgano integrante del Poder Ciudadano, tiene como norte la defensa de los derechos humanos, su máxima representante Gabriela Ramírez afirmó recientemente que: ”La tortura tiene un sentido. Se emplea para obtener una confesión, se le inflige (al interrogado) sufrimiento físico para obtener una confesión. Tenemos que diferenciarlo de un trato excesivo o uso desproporcionado de la fuerza”.

Anteriormente las ONGs en Venezuela gozaban de la potestad de representar a las víctimas de abusos de los derechos humanos ante los tribunales, pero esta potestad les fue arrebatada en la reforma del Código Orgánico Procesal Penal de 2012. El difunto Presidente Hugo Chavez impulsó la enmienda de la constitución de 1999, en la cuál se reconoció por primera vez en Venezuela el Poder Ciudadano. Recordamos, que fue también la ocasión cuando se validó la reelección presidencial, abriendo camino a la elección presidencial indefinida, anclada a nivel constitucional en Venezuela.

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