Victims of Venezuela’s 2014 political violence said the opposition-proposed amnesty law guarantees impunity for guilty politicians and ignores those whose lives have been affected by the unrest.
Yendrys Velasquez, a representative of the Committee of Victims of the Guarimbas, spoke to teleSUR about the legislature planned by the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which seeks the release of imprisoned right-wing politicians convicted of crimes relating to the violent protests beginning in Feb. 2014 which left 43 dead.
The widow, who lost her husband in the violence, said that the amnesty law—which the opposition MUD alliance says will promote justice—will in fact prevent it.
“Now they say that it’s for justice. People who participated in a material or intellectual way in the murder of 43 people and 878 injured. Are they demanding justice, or playing with impunity?
“From my point of view they are playing with impunity,” she said.
Velasquez branded the law an insult to the family members of the victims and those whose lives were damaged by the violence.
“The feelings of the families (of those killed) don’t matter to them. The victims who have scars for life, and who will never be the same, don’t matter to them,” she said.
Velasquez’s husband, a national police officer, was killed while guarding a gas station during a violent student protest. He was hit by a bullet fired from the crowd.
“They were trying to hit a police officer,” she said, explaining that three officers were injured by gunfire.
“He was trying to reestablish public order.”
Among those in prison is Leopoldo Lopez, the former leader of the right-wing Voluntad Popular party. Lopez is charged with inciting the violence. Opposition factions claim that he is a political prisoner.
“I don’t think that (Leopoldo Lopez) is a political prisoner,” said Velasquez, “He is a politician who called for violence … And the consequence was 43 people killed.”
The proposed amnesty law is among many of the sweeping changes that the MUD alliance hopes to bring to Venezuela having won a supermajority in last year’s elections.
It is also believed they plan to oust President Nicolas Maduro and overhaul the constitution.
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