Criminal Forum: repression is the weapon that Maduro’s regime has left


The director of the NGO Penal Forum, Alfredo Romero, said in an interview with El Independiente that people «never see the worst in Venezuela.»

Romero, who has been dealing with horror in Venezuela for 18 years, demands justice in the country. The Criminal Forum, which has an army of volunteers, lawyers and professionals in the defense of human rights, is launched every time a relative of a political prisoner comes to them.

«We fight against oblivion. The worst thing for a prisoner is forgetfulness, ”Romero details.

“Now there are 522 people imprisoned for political reasons. Tomorrow the number may vary. Of these, 109 are military. Since 2014 we have registered more than 15 thousand arbitrary detentions for political reasons, ”he said.

In this year, those who suffer most are the relatives of the military persecuted by the regime.

In Romero’s opinion, the worst thing that has happened to him is not being able to offer comfort to Rufo Chacón, a 16-year-old teenager who had his eyes snatched away by security forces. “For me, knowing means seeing, and I can’t see anything. My life is over, ”said Chacon.

We take you to Caracas. It was the first time I was in the capital. I asked him where he wanted to go to entertain him while we waited to find out what the doctors were saying. He replied: «For me, knowing means seeing and I can’t see anything,» says Romero, who confesses that he felt helpless in the face of the young man’s misfortune. «How are we going to help Rufo?» Rufo’s mother, Adriana, has already said that her boy wanted to die when he knew his misfortune. «My life is over,» he repeated.

«The regime will never stop repressing. It is your most effective tool, your capital. He uses it as a mechanism of political control. It can be weakened economically or militarily, but repressive units will never be weakened, ”Romero said.

Romero recalled that the first case of torture for political reasons arrived at the Criminal Forum on February 18, 2014. A young Venezuelan was taken to the headquarters of the political police, “they put his head in water and gave him electric shocks. They told him they were going to stop if he accused Antonio Ledezma of organizing the protests.