Testimony of the horror: a tortured person speaks in a military chavista



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In the basements of Directorate General of Military Intelligence (DGCIM) in Caracas, officials considered to be at greater political and military risk by Nicolás Maduro's government were and are being detained, with the exception of the general-in-chief (Ex) Raúl Isaías Baduel and the captain (GNB) Juan Carlos Caguaripano. Infobae He talked to an officer who stayed in these cells until a few months ago when the colonel Rafael Antonio Franco Quintero was the Research Director of DGCIM.

He had only 45 days in 2017, but during that time he was arrested, this high official, who rose first to the highest ranks of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), saw and lived scary facts. We safeguard his name to protect him and his family.

"The guys I know from the Navy and they're trapped there are exemplary officers, first, the entire Marine Infantry, Special Operations," he says.

The cost for families is very high. "Only three hours of visit per week in the DGIM, so you have an idea, for example in Ramo Verde prison, the regime is open, they have a canteen, kitchens, the visit can be received in the cell itself, they have televisions and I think of two or three days' visit in the morning. "

Even the families are tortured because they have to travel long distances, pay hotels, carry for three hours of visits that in some cases cancel them without notice. There I saw people coming from Margarita with their small children, or from the Andean region, very humble people and not being able to visit their relative without being warned in advance. Everything is very cruel, much more than the imagination itself can recreate.

"Were you in the days of Colonel Franco Quintero?"

"Yes, this colonel, in my opinion, is a psychopath. I never imagined that such a person could, not only be part of the FANB, but be considered human. His passage through the Dgcim was terrible.

"Why him in private?"

"Because it was he who changed all the routine and conditions of incarceration into subhuman conditions.

"Describe me this place when he was there.

The cells are airtight, the doors are made of sheet iron, not bars. With a small window that is also closed 24 hours; the confinement is absolute, can not be seen outside the cell. They do not have toilets and the necessities, except when allowed, are made in solid plastic bags and in plastic pots. He banned books, including Bibles, banned food supplements, anything but water, removed the phone from the hallway and created the three-minute rule once a day.

"Do you remember a cruel affair?"

"In one of the cells, there were four young Llanero prisoners who had been there for months without their families knowing they were alive. Their conditions were worse, and they were not allowed to bathe, but every week or two, in the same panties and underwear because they had no family member to take them off; They used when they were allowed, the toothpaste and the toothbrushes we gave them. The same thing happened with the toilet paper. They did not have any type of hygiene utensil and their appearance and behavior, given the severe conditions, was like in the war movies, that do not raise the head and they stir; a degree of extreme submission caused by this kind of brutal white torture, I had never experienced or seen anything like it.

Relatives describe them as if they were in concentration camps. This improved a bit when the colonel arrived Hannover Esteban Guerrero Mijares, but it seems that now he is relentless.

"A sergeant, when he brought us the food, which was greatly reduced. For example, in the morning, a small arepa and two tablespoons of peas, these young llaneros, instead of giving all four, gave two. Unlike other prisons where food is allowed, it is prohibited there. The confinement is absolute, without books, without telephones and the only thing to ingest that can be received is water.

"With the arrival of Colonel Guerrero Mijares, they began to allow their relatives to bring them food, which made them regain some weight, but they prevented it again. Do they like to apply torture?

"I do not know, but I'll tell you what. After I was released at 45, thank God, Minister Padrino Lopez sent me to call his office and he personally apologized and accepted that I had differences of opinion very kindly. However, he asked me if I had seen his interview with José Vicente the previous Sunday, which means he believed I had TV in jail. What I did not know is that when they called me I had three days without bathing and without isolation, which I could not count on at that meeting because my designated investigative body was my own prison organ, that is, while I had precaution in their hands .

"When they could call, did they have privacy?"

No, this is true. We lined up to call by phone and it was only three minutes since you started dialing, whether the call dropped or not. When we were in line, we could not talk to each other. In this famous corridor there is a punishment cell of a little more than a square meter covered, floor and walls, of spoiled mattress, where the prisoner can only sit on the floor. The stench is so great that when you pass in front of this cell, the bad smell arrives outside; there they put the punished, sometimes up to two. The cell has no light, is dark 24 hours a day and is usually placed in hoods and handcuffed with hands behind them; They ate from the dish like dogs. Some had the flexibility to move their arms under their legs forward and thus could do some of this barbarity. I, afraid of being punished, tried to practice the passage of my arms forward in the cell and never succeeded. I prayed God would not fall there, I would die, I think I would not resist, I confess.

"What happens there at night?"

"At nine o'clock at night they turn off the lights centrally and the darkness, being a basement, is absolute. You open and close your eyes and there is no difference. Therefore, it was necessary to fit the position of the bag for the needs, the pot to urinate, the paper, the water to drink, etc., in learned positions, because the light was put back at breakfast time. The bed was concrete with a rug. There are no chairs or shelves or anything else in the cell. Some colleagues, who somehow had a prescription, were still there on the basis of sleeping pills. Paradoxically, I can say that I thank God for this experience.

"You're a senior civil servant, you've made a career for decades in the armed institution. What impressed you most about what you saw on Dgcim?

– There I saw young people recently captured from the protests, usually the most important ones; They had them in the hall for weeks, holding the black hood on their heads and handcuffed 24 hours a day, except for food or hygiene. And I say that I felt a great admiration for the young people who did not give in to all this cruel treatment and pressure. For some strange reason, the Colonel (Franco Quintero) alone allowed me half of my stay (perhaps a concession ordered by some superior who knew me) to take three books and my wife took me my favorite books: The Bible, the Count of Montecristo and Don Quixote.

"Can you describe the area for me?"

-The area is completely enclosed in the basement with two doors to enter the hallway. There, an old air-conditioning collects the air from the bathroom and takes it to the cells through pipelines, in an eternal closed circuit without external air intakes. You can imagine the effect of the addicted air, combined with the bad smells and having to breathe like this in a closed cell, incommunicado and incapable of talking to anyone day by day. On some occasions, they gave us permission to go out into the hall and we could talk and suddenly we would return to the previous condition. It was planned once a week to get up half an hour to sunbathe, which during my 45 days was only done once. Visits are only for two people who have to sit separately from other families and can not speak or say hello among families.

– Any reason for that?

"They do not say that. At the end of the visit, we were stripped one by one in the bathroom, having to bend our legs in a crouched position to check if there was something in the anus. Missing about 15 days for my freedom that I only knew the day I left when they sent me to take a shower, they put a lieutenant in my cell and for you to have an idea, at the time I had to reassure you and tell you, to breathe slowly into the effect of the stale air. Isolation for them is an additional form of torture.

"Imagine how that will be, that I told my wife that I'd rather be crowded only, because it's terrible to see how the days go by and you can only think or pray.

"How was your arrest?"

"They kept me from telling me at home that it was an interview. And the arrangement was not only inhuman, but they put me in a small two-by-two office with a broken, unventilated chair, four powerful lamps, and brown-painted walls and ceiling. Torture begins there. I went there from five in the afternoon until one in the morning, without eating, without drinking water and without explanation. At one in the morning, when the arrest warrant arrived, they transferred me to the cell, of course, without water and without having eaten. And yet, I can confess that I consider myself lucky.

Yes There he was a general, a stick man, just for two months, just for being a friend of General Baduel and being 10 years older than me, short and thin, he had dropped 20 kilos and was not allowed in a humane way that his family would take him some supplement . These people gave me strength to resist and in the solitude of the cell, they pray. I can not imagine anyone who does not believe in God, survive in such a place. For some of his companions to be distracted, he would write to them in fragments of paper from the Bible those who lift their morals and pass them, when they can, under the door.

"I know there's no consideration for medical attention." It was demonstrated in the case of Nelson Martínez, minister and president of PDVSA.

– You can not have pills or pills in the cell. If you have a headache or any other problem, you will only have the remedy if the custodial custodian allows it and take your stored belongings elsewhere. By closing the cells at night no one enters until the other day, there is no way to be attended in case of any emergency, fire or anything else.

"How were the guardians?"

"Most are trained in Cuba, according to their own comments. When they open the door to feed, they do not open it completely, just enough to pass the plastic cup with food, while an employee registers it with a camera to record what he has eaten. There is eaten with plastic cutlery that we cleaned with a napkin when finished and we put them back in a small purse with our name. When they forgot about the cutlery, instead of returning the 20 meters where they were deposited, they simply put us to eat with our hands. When they close the door that has two large hinges, they do it with force, I do not understand why and then I understood that, even this insignificance, was part of all this white torture.

"Did you feel that way?"

"Yes, it is brutal the psychological effect of seeing the door close again until the next meal, or until the next day with a heavy blow. Not knowing if it's day or night, not knowing what time it is, because they do not allow clocks; to hear only the noise of the air that sometimes left and suffocation increased. I'm not vindictive, but I really say that these people have done so much wrong.

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