Target: Henri Falcon Fuentes, Governor of the Lara state in Venezuela
Goal: Protect human rights activist from being harmed by his son’s killers, who have recently left prison
Police corruption in Venezuela has led to the death of one human rights activist and the continued violent harassment of his family. Sign the petition and demand that Venezuelan authorities step in to protect the family of the slain activist.
The state of Lara in western Venezuela has a police force that has garnered accusations of violence and corruption from a number of sources. Mijail Martinez, “an audiovisual producer documenting cases of human rights abuse for the Committee of Victims Against Impunity in the state of Lara (Comité de Víctimas contra la Impunidad del estado Lara, COVICIL),” made it his mission to combat police corruption. But in 2009, Mijail was murdered, gunned down as he was in the midst of a project. The two men who killed him were taken into custody, but both have recently left prison. One prisoner escaped; the other, in accordance with Venezuelan law, was paroled after serving two years of jail time while awaiting trial.
All of this puts Mijail’s father Victor and his family in a precarious position. Victor Martinez has already endured assaults and an attempt on his life as a result of his persistent call for justice. The family was offered protection for a brief time in 2011, but with Mijail’s killers at large once again the Martinez family is in more danger than ever. Sign the petition and call upon the state of Lara to protect Victor Martinez and his family, and exhort the authorities to leave no stone unturned in their investigation into Mijail’s death and the attempt on Victor’s life.
The tragic and senseless murder of Mijail Martinez in 2009 should be long resolved—his killers have been caught and are awaiting trial. However, Mijail’s murder continues to send shockwaves through his community and through his own family, who remain targets of assaults and attempted murder. I urge you to stand by your citizens—protect Mijail Martinez’s family from harm and ensure that every possible effort is put into fairly and justly resolving Mijail’s case once and for all.
Mijail’s father, Victor, has been the target of attacks ever since his son was killed. In 2010, Victor was kicked and punched by another man, and in 2012 he was confronted near his home by a man with a gun—all this just because Victor has refused to remain silent about his son’s death.
The Martinez family was offered protection for a brief time in 2011, but they are no longer protected by any government agency. However, protection is more important than ever, as both of Mijail’s killers recently left prison—one was paroled, and the other escaped. With Mijail’s killers at large again, his family stands a great risk of being violently—if not fatally—attacked.
Please protect your citizens and honor their calls for justice. Offer the Martinez family protection and launch full investigations into the earlier attacks against them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: paundpro via DeviantArt