Venezuela: Possible Extrajudicial Execution, Fear for Safety

PUBLIC
18 August 2000

AI Index: 53/09/00
UA 247/00

Possible extrajudicial execution/Fear for safety

VENEZUELA

Dayana (real name JosZ Luis Nieves) (Killed) Transgendered community in Valencia, Carabobo State

On 29 July 2000, JosZ Luis Nieves, a transgendered person known as Dayana, was killed in the city of Valencia, Carabobo State, in circumstances that suggest she was the victim of an extrajudicial execution. Following this murder, Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of other members of Valencia's transgendered community, who are reportedly at constant risk of harassment, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention.

According to information received by Amnesty International, on 29 July two men came to Dayana's room at the guest house in Valencia where she lived and fatally shot her. At the time of her murder, she was still suffering from pellet wounds sustained during an earlier shooting by a state police officer.

On 9 August 2000, Pocahontas (real name Ronny Yosmar Aquino) and La Guajira (real name Alexis Medina), two of Dayana's young, transgendered friends, were reportedly detained without a judicial order by Carabobo Police. They were forced to get undressed in the street and severely beaten. They were then held in incommunicado detention and were not allowed access to a lawyer, to medical attention or to their families. Days later, both were freed but Pocahontas was detained again and is now being held at Valencia's Police Headquarters.

At the beginning of July 2000, La Corto Circuito and La Mulera, two other members of Valencia's transgendered community, were detained by police in Valencia for 8 days without a judicial order. During their detention, they were held in extremely poor conditions. They had to sleep on the floor and to buy food as the meals they were given contained worms.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

According to Amnesty International's information, transgendered people are frequently harassed by police in Valencia. Police abuse transgendered people by forcibly cutting their hair and nails. Police sometimes detain them and force them to perform sexual acts in return for release. If they refuse, police will dump them semi-naked at some distance from the city in order to humiliate them.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail letters in Spanish or your own language:

  • expressing concern at the killing of JosZ Luis Nieves (Dayana) in circumstances suggesting that this was an extrajudicial execution;
  • calling on the authorities to carry out a full and prompt investigation into the murder and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice;
  • expressing concern at the continuing harassment and unwarranted detention of transgendered people in Carabobo State;
  • stressing that everyone is entitled to the protection of the law, regardless of their sexual orientation;
  • urging the authorities to take effective measures to ensure the safety of transgendered people in Carabobo State.

APPEALS TO:

Governor of the State of Carabobo
Sr. Henrique Fernando Salas Feo
Gobernador del Estado de Carabobo
Palacio de Gobierno
Calle Montes de Oca con calle Paez
Valencia
Estado Carabobo, Venezuela
Fax: + 584 157 0783
Salutation: Dear Governor / Estimado Sr. Gobernador
Commander of the Police Forces in Carabobo
Coronel Ricardo Salvador Hernandez Lanz
Comandante General
Comandancia General de la Policia
Avenida Navas Espinolas
entre Paseo Cabriales y Martin Tovar
Valencia
Estado de Carabobo, Venezuela
Fax: + 584 159 5940 (If voice answers, say: "Por favor, tono de fax")
Salutation: Dear Commander General / Estimado Comandante General
Minister of the Interior and Justice
Sr. Luis Alfonso D‡vila
Ministro del Interior y Justicia
Ministerio del Interior y Justicia
Torre Norte, piso 18
Centro Sim—n Bol’var
Caracas, Venezuela
Fax: + 582 861 1967
Salutation: Dear Minister / Estimado Sr. Ministro
Attorney General of the Republic
Dr. Javier Elechiguerra
Fiscal General de la
Repœblica
Fiscal’a General de la Repœblica
Av. Mexico esquina Pele el Ojo a Misericordia
Edificio del Ministerio Pœblico frente a la Plaza Parque Carabobo
Caracas, Venezuela
Fax: + 582 577 2144 (If voice answers, say: "Por favor, tono de fax)
Salutation: Dear Attoney General / Estimado Fiscal General

COPIES TO:

Human Rights Organizations
Accion Ciudadana Contra el Sida
Av. Romulo Gallegos
Ed. Maracay, Piso 11, Apto 21
El Marques, Caracas
Venezuela
Tel/fax: + 582 232 7938
E-mail: accsi@ccs.internet.ve
Respeto a la Personalidad
E-mail: respeto_a_la_personalidad@yahoo.es

and to diplomatic representatives of VENEZUELA accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 29 September 2000.