Venezuelan police block humanitarian effort by Church representative

The Venezuelan police force prevented a Church representative from carrying out a specifically humanitarian effort last week at the embassy of El Salvador in the capital city of Caracas.

According to the Venezuelan Bishops Conference, “The Bishops Committee on Justice and Peace, Caritas of Venezuela, and the Committee for the Families of the Victims of the February and March Events of 1989, at the request of the family members of retired police officers Henry Vivas and Lazaro Forero, met at the embassy of El Salvador, located in Chuao, in order to carry out a humanitarian mission aimed at providing comfort and reassurance to the wives and children of these Venezuelan citizens.”

Bishop Jorge Villasmil, representing the Bishops Conference, and other representatives were prevented from entering the embassy by officers of the National Guard, who told them “access to the diplomatic headquarters was restricted.”

According to the Conference, “the only intention of the parties present was to verify the personal well being of Officers Vivas and Forero and to respond to the strictly humanitarian request made by their families.”

For this reason, the bishops asked “Venezuelan authorities that all investigations of an administrative, civil or criminal manner that take place in the country strictly adhere to the minimum judicial guarantees established in the Constitution and in the international instruments protecting human rights.”

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