Venezuela: Reports of First Justice (Primero Justicia, PJ) party members being at risk, harassed or monitored by the Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (Direccion de Servicios de Inteligencia y Prevencion, DISIP), Bolivarian Circles (Circulos Bolivarianos), or other pro-government forces (2001-November 2003)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||2 December 2003|
|Citation / Document Symbol||VEN42169.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Venezuela: Reports of First Justice (Primero Justicia, PJ) party members being at risk, harassed or monitored by the Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (Direccion de Servicios de Inteligencia y Prevencion, DISIP), Bolivarian Circles (Circulos Bolivarianos), or other pro-government forces (2001-November 2003), 2 December 2003, VEN42169.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/403dd2260.html [accessed 18 September 2014]|
In addition to information about the harassment of First Justice (Primero Justicia, PJ) members found in VEN41994.FE of 22 September 2003, sources reported on a plan to blame opposition groups such as PJ for violent actions in different areas in Caracas (El Norte 4 Nov. 2003; Union Radio 3 Nov. 2003). Claudio Fermin, the national leader of the opposition Democratic Action (Accion Democratica, AD), accused the pro-Chavez group Tupamaros of planning to carry out acts of violence and then blame them on opposition political parties including the PJ party (El Norte 4 Nov. 2003). Fermin's allegations were based on information about Tupamaros members who had delivered boxes of shirts bearing the logos of AD, PJ and the Social Christian Party (Partido Social Cristiano, COPEI) to an apartment in the central zone of Caracas (El Norte 4 Nov. 2003; Union Radio 3 Nov. 2003). According to Union Radio, AD president Jesus Mendez Quijada denounced these plans as the government's way of sabotaging the opposition's drive to collect the signatures needed to initiate a presidential recall referendum (3 Nov. 2003).
Without specifying which authority, Union Radio reported that intelligence agents raided the Plaza Altimira and ejected the mayor of Baruta, Henrique Capriles Radonsky, while he was collecting signatures for the presidential recall project (28 Nov. 2003). Radonsky stated that this action by intelligence agents was an "act of intimidation" (acto de intimidacion) intended to "weaken" (debilitar) the signature collection process (Union Radio 28 Nov. 2003). Further, Radonsky mentioned that "[n]either the DISIP [Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services, Direccion de Servicios de Inteligencia y Prevencion] nor the PTJ [Judicial Technical Police, Policia Technica Judicial] or any other state police force authorized to intimidate will achieve their goal" (Ni la DISIP, ni la PTJ, ni ningún otro cuerpo policial del Estado que esté mandado para intimidar va a poder lograr su objetivo) (ibid.).
No information about whether the Bolivarian Circles (Circulos Bolivarianos) have threatened, harassed or monitored PJ members. Please refer to VEN41970.E of 5 September 2003 for information about Bolivarian Circles.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
El Norte [Barcelona, Venezuela]. 4 November 2003. "Tupamaros preparan acciones de violencia para culpar a partidos de oposicion."
Union Radio [Caracas]. 28 November 2003. "Alcalde Capriles rechazo allanamiento a la Plaza Francia."
_____. 3 November 2003. "AD denuncia saboteo oficialista durante el 'Reafirmazo'."
Additional Sources Consulted
World News Connection/Dialog
Comision Andina de Juristas (CAJ)
Comite de Familiares de las Víctimas del 27 de Febrero (COFAVIC)
Human Rights Watch
El Nacional [Caracas]
Programa Venezolano de Educacion-Accion en Derechos Humanos (PROVEA)
El Universal [Caracas]
Venezuela Analitica [Caracas]