Panama Ambassador urges OAS to gain a sense of Judge Afiuni's case
Panamanian Ambassador to the Organization of American States referred to Afiuni's accounts of sexual abuse during her detention in a Venezuelan prison. Her experience is told in a book recently written by Francisco Olivares, the head of the section of Investigative Journalism of daily newspaper El Universal
During the OAS's session, the Panamanian ambassador urged the members of the organization to get familiar with the situation that Afiuni is going through. "The time is now," Cochez said.
During his intervention, the ambassador explained he does not intend "to determine the truth about the facts surrounding Afiuni's imprisonment. However, in view of the statements expressed in UN reports, as well as those from organizations from civil society, and a wide sector of Venezuela, our duty is to call for information on the case."
Meanwhile, Afiuni's trial began on Wednesday. International observer Claudio Morer Jiménez and some representatives from Canada and the EU were present. Afiuni refused to appear in court, yet a recent amendment to the Organic Code on Criminal Procedure allows trial hearings in the absence of the defendant.
The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.