By Liz Gascon.
On Thursday, June 25, the lawyer Eva Leal was released after being accused of “outrage against a security official.” The 7th Military Control Court from Lara state, granted her freedom with a regime of presentation when the instance requires it, her family and lawyers reported.
Leal was intimidated by six National Guards, who cause her a four-stitch gash on her forehead and scalp, and wrestled her to the floor for several minutes, during which her face was grated (according to one of the witnesses) against the hot asphalt of the street, a treatment compared to the case of George Floyd.
After the assault, she was detained in a military barracks and arraigned before a military court, an illegal measure under the Venezuelan Constitution.
On June 23, at 3:20 p.m., Leal was beaten and detained at a checkpoint on the Macuto bridge in Barquisimeto for recording to officials of the National Guard while they requested her to pay a fine for violating the Decree 4039 of the Lara Governor Office, which imposes monetary penalties for violating the prevention measures of the COVID-19 which includes a 2:00 p.m. curfew. The curfew by the Lara state governor is illegal since it is not contemplated in the Venezuelan Constitution.
According to witnesses, video, and pictures reviewed by El Pitazo, a female lieutenant threw the lawyer on the pavement and busted Leal’s head after realizing she was making a video of her exchange with the Guards. Leal was not only unhappy with having to pay a debatable fine but was also arguing about the price.
The NGO Lara State Anti-Corruption Coalition recorded four irregularities in this procedure: the collection of a cash fine, the demand for an additional payment to a personal account, physical violence against a citizen for recording an alleged act of corruption, and arbitrary detention.
“The actions of the National Guard, and especially the aggressive attitude of Lieutenant, Maria de Los Angeles Palmera, highlight the terrible corruption that unleashes physical violence and human rights violations by the agencies created to guarantee our security,” the organization said in a statement published on June, 25.
There will be no sanctions against the lieutenant
A military source stated on condition of anonymity that there are no plans to initiate administrative or punitive proceedings against the lieutenant or the other officers who attacked Leal. National Guard sources claim that the action was in keeping with the norm and maintain that Leal behaved in a hostile manner before being subdued and handcuffed, according to the source.
The Lara State Bar Association compared the aggression against Leal with that of the American, George Floyd, which murder at the hands of the Minneapolis Police triggered the rejection of the community. “It cannot be allowed that human rights of the citizens being violated (…) under the Decree of Exception by the COVID-19,” The conduct of the security organs must be adjusted to the patterns of formation of citizen conscience and not of repression,” reiterates the organization that demands full freedom for Leal.