Venezuela disaster: Navy captain’s loss of life in custody condemned by opposition


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@waleswka77 on Twitter

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Navy captain Rafael Acosta in a tweet from opposition chief Juan Guaidó

Venezuela’s opposition has denounced the loss of life of a navy captain held over an alleged plot to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro and referred to as for an investigation.

Rafael Acosta, 49, was amongst six policemen and troopers arrested on Wednesday.

They have been detained weeks after a failed army rebellion in opposition to Mr Maduro.

Dealing with costs of treason and sedition, Mr Acosta appeared in court docket on Friday, however fainted earlier than proceedings started.

He was rushed to a army hospital within the capital, Caracas, however died within the early hours of Saturday morning, Venezuela’s defence ministry stated in an announcement.

“Regardless of offering him with the suitable medical consideration, he died,” the assertion stated.

Opposition chief Juan Guaidó, who orchestrated the tried rebellion in opposition to Mr Maduro on 30 April, claimed in a video that Mr Acosta was “savagely and brutally tortured”.

“This is not the primary time in Venezuela now we have denounced the sort of act,” he stated.

Mr Acosta’s spouse, Waleska Perez, says the navy corvette captain was barely aware when he appeared on the army tribunal in a wheelchair, with indicators of torture seen on his physique.

“They tortured him a lot that they killed him,” Perez, talking from Colombia, informed TV channel EVTV Miami.

Venezuela’s authorities has stated it’s going to examine Mr Acosta’s loss of life, however has not elaborated on the trigger or circumstances previous it.

His loss of life comes after UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet completed a go to to the nation to analyze claims of human rights abuses, together with torture and extrajudicial killings.

President Maduro has intensified a crackdown on the opposition since April’s failed army rebellion.

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Mr Maduro continues to be being backed by army chiefs who’re seen as essential to him protecting energy

Greater than 700 folks have been detained in Venezuela for political causes, together with 100 members of the army, based on native rights group Foro Penal.

The disaster in Venezuela deepened in January after Mr Guaidó, head of the Nationwide Meeting, declared himself interim president, arguing that Mr Maduro’s re-election final 12 months had been “illegitimate”.

He has since been recognised by greater than 50 nations, together with the US and most of Latin America. However Mr Maduro retains the loyalty of a lot of the army and essential allies resembling China and Russia.

Mr Guaidó lately informed the BBC’s James Menendez that the usage of army power continues to be an choice if Mr Maduro continues killing protesters.

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Media captionJuan Guaidó on how the political disaster could develop

Since April’s failed rise up, described by Mr Maduro as a part of a US-orchestrated coup, many opposition MPs have misplaced their parliamentary immunity and a few have been arrested. Whereas Mr Guaidó’s parliamentary immunity has been lifted, he has to this point not been jailed.

Some 4 million folks have fled Venezuela since 2015, based on the UN, amid a extreme year-long financial disaster that has resulted in excessive unemployment and continual shortages of meals and medication.

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