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UA 409/91 - Venezuela: Death in custody / killings in disputed circumstances: Darwin Duncan Capote Rondon, Jose Gregorio Delgado, Jose Humberto Lopez Arias

, N° d'index: AMR 53/004/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 53/04/91
Distr: UA/SC
22 November 1991
UA 409/91 Death in Custody/Killings in Disputed Circumstances
VENEZUELA: Darwin Duncan Capote Rondón, 17, secondary school student
José Gregorio Delgado, 17, secondary school student
José Humberto López Arias, 21, conscript
Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the killing of three people
on 20 November 1991 in circumstances that suggest they were the victims of
extrajudicial execution. They occurred in the context of widespread
demonstrations by students that have been taking place in Caracas and other
major Venezuelan cities in the last few days.
According to reports, Darwin Capote Rondón, a student at the Francisco
Fajardo School was wounded after members of the Metropolitan Police (PM, Policía
Metropolitana) opened fire with shot guns during a student demonstration on
20 November 1991 in the Macarao suburb of Caracas. He was reportedly kicked
by the police while lying on the ground, handcuffed and pushed into a jeep
belonging to the PM. His handcuffed body was later found on the street near
the Caricuao social security office, with a wound in his back.
José Gregorio Delgado was reportedly shot in the neck by a police officer
as he was running down the street. According to eye witnesses the shot was
fired without any prior warning. Minutes later, José López Arias, who
reportedly approached the same police officers, was shot at close range and
wounded. He died later in a side street.
Five policemen have reportedly been arrested in connection with these
killings.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
A series of demonstrations started in mid-October 1991 after the government
announced rises in fuel prices and a sharp increase in transport fares. At
least three other students have been shot dead in disputed circumstances by
police since the beginning of the year. They include Raúl Contreras, 18, a
student at the Cecilio Acosta University College, in Los Teques, State of
Miranda, who died on 29 October 1991 after being shot by a state police sniper.
Amnesty International is seriously concerned at frequent reports of
disputed killings by police in Venezuela. In February and March 1989 several
hundred people died after the government suspended a wide range of
constitutional guarantees in response to widespread protests. Although many
died in the context of widespread violence and disorder, a number of people
were the victims of deliberate and unlawful killings by the police and military
personnel.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters, preferably
in Spanish:
- expressing serious concern at the recent killings in disputed
circumstances of Darwin Duncan Capote Rondón, José Gregorio Delgado and
José Humberto López Arias;
2
- welcoming reports that five policeman have been arrested in connection
with these killings but urge that judicial investigations proceed
without delay and that those responsible for unlawful killings be
brought to justice;
- requesting that urgent measures be taken to ensure that all police
personnel comply with the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law
Enforcement Officials [spanish: Código de las Naciones Unidas para el
Personal Encargado de Hacer Cumplir la Ley].
APPEALS TO:
President:
Sr. Carlos Andrés Pérez Sr. Presidente
Presidente de la República
Palacio Miraflores, Caracas, Venezuela
Telegrams: Presidente Pérez, Caracas, Venezuela
Telex: 26429 EXTER VC
Minister of the Interior: Sr. Ministro
Sr. Alejandro Izaguirre Angeli
Ministro del Interior
Palacio Miraflores, Caracas, Venezuela
Telegrams: Ministro Interior, Caracas, Venezuela
Telex: 26429 EXTER VC
Attorney General:
Sr. Ramón Escobar Salom Sr. Fiscal General
Fiscal General de la República
La Candelaria, Caracas, Venezuela
Telegrams: Fiscal General, Caracas, Venezuela
Telex: 24787 FISGE VC
Minister of Defence:
General Fernando Ochoa Antich Sr. Ministro
Ministro de Defensa Nacional
Fuerte Tiuna
Conejo Blanco
El Valle, Caracas, Venezuela
Telegrams: Ministro Defensa, Caracas, Venezuela
COPIES TO:
Sres. Sres. El Diario de Caracas
Provea Federación de Centros Final Av. Principal
Apartado Postal 5156 Universitarios Boleíta Norte
Caracas, Venezuela Ciudad Universitaria Caracas, Venezuela
(Human Rights organization) Los Chaguaramos (daily newspaper)
Caracas, Venezuela
(Students Federation)
and to diplomatic representatives of Venezuela in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 3 January 1992.

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