Venezuela's Truth Commission on 2002 coup was just a promise
Human rights advocate says that neither the government nor the opposition has been willing to conduct an investigation into the events of April 11, 2002
Some hours after President Hugo Chávez resumed his duties on April 14, 2002 government and opposition leaders talked about the need of creating a commission to investigate thoroughly the events that occurred on April 11-13 that year, in order to clarify the facts in which 19 people were killed and over 100 were injured, and determine whether there was a conspiracy or not.
However, this promise has not been fulfilled a decade after the tragic events and the initiative have been thrown into oblivion. Neither the previous nor the current National Assembly has discussed again the working paper that the extinct Congress began to draft in 2002.
Liliana Ortega, the director of human rights NGO Committee of the Relatives and Victims of the Events of February and March of 1989 (Cofavic), said that this situation shows that "there has been no political will in the government or the opposition to investigate seriously the events occurred on April 11, 12, 13 and 15, when there were lootings in west Caracas."
Ortega recalled that several organizations supported the Truth Commission. However, in order to ensure autonomy and independence, such groups asked authorities to draft a law creating the commission, and suggested the inclusion of foreign experts to ensure impartiality. "Both government authorities and opposition leaders took a biased stance and politicized the victims. This is very dangerous because it does not lead to reconciliation, but rather stirs hatred and polarization," the human rights activist added.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil."