The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights denounced “inconsistent hypotheses” on the cause of death of Raúl Baduel in a Venezuelan prison

Raul Baduel

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights denounced this Saturday that there are “inconsistent hypotheses” on cause of death of the Venezuelan military officer Raúl Baduel in prison.

Through Twitter, he stated that “expresses concern about the death of the military officer Raúl Baduel, who was deprived of liberty in the Helicoide of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service; and notes that there are inconsistent hypotheses about the cause of death”.

He also called on the Nicolás Maduro regime to begin a serious and impartial investigation. “In this regard, it urges the authorities to initiate a serious, impartial and effective investigation without delay., aimed at determining the truth and, eventually, punishing people who may have had some degree of responsibility, “he said.

Finally, it stated: “It also reminds the State of Venezuela that, in its position as guarantor, has the duty to protect the life and personal integrity of those who are in its custody”.

Messages from the IACHR on Twitter
Messages from the IACHR on Twitter

The Venezuelan military Raúl Isaias Baduel, a political prisoner since his arrest in 2009 by Chavismo, died last Tuesday due to a cardiorespiratory arrest as a result of COVID-19, as reported by the attorney general of the Nicolás Maduro regime, Tarek William Saab. This was later denied by Baduel’s daughter, who assured that her father had not contracted coronavirus.

Baduel had been transferred from the prison known as La Tumba to another on El Helicoide.

On Tuesday night, the vice president of the Penal Forum, Gonzalo Himiob, reacted to the death of Baduel. Through his Twitter account, he indicated that “With the death of Raúl Isaías Baduel, there are already 10 political prisoners who die in custody”.

He specified that “the responsibility for the life and health of any detainee rests with the State. Medical treatment is continuously required for prisoners. There is almost never an adequate answer ”.

Hugo Chávez and Raúl Baduel
Hugo Chávez and Raúl Baduel

General Baduel was not just another military man. In addition to having been Minister of Defense, he was a man close to Hugo Chávez. In 2002, he headed the civil-military operation that restored Chávez to power after the coup in that country in 2002. He was the general commander of the Venezuelan Army from January 2004 to July 2006 and Minister of Defense from June 2006 to July 2007.

In July 2007 the general surrendered office, questioning the direction the Bolivarian Revolution was taking. Just six months later, in January 2008 he was arrested, charged and sentenced in 2010 for “theft of money from the Armed Forces”.

The sentence was almost eight years in prison for the alleged misappropriation of 30 million bolivars and 3.9 million dollars during his tenure as minister. In turn, he was disqualified from holding public office.

Baduel denied the charges and maintained that it was all part of a persecution against him for opposing Chávez. His lawyers and relatives denounced that the charges against him had no legal basis. The Chavista justice also did not respect his hierarchy of general in chief when dealing with the case in a military court of first instance.

On August 12, 2015, he was released from Ramo Verde on parole. But on January 12, 2017, shortly after serving the sentence that ended in March of that year, he was jailed again. Security agents raided his house and took him away for the alleged commission of the crime of treason and instigation of rebellion.

In February 2018, Maduro dismissed him and demoted him from the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, along with 13 officers.

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