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Colombian Journalist member of the British delegation WYSF in Venezuela accussed

Ana Garcia | 28.08.2005 00:01 | Anti-militarism | Repression | London | World

A colombian journalist, and political activist based in London is accussed of paramilitarism when he controverted the CNP (Comite Nacional Preparatorio) Organisers of the 16º World Festival of youth and students in Caracas, Venezuela.

In the context of the 16º World Festival of Youth and Students, held in Caracas this august, the popular Journalist, activist and intelectual Mauricio Lopez-Arenas, who is a colombian based in London and is doing LatinAmerican studies at London University Birkbeck College, is stucked in Caracas after he was victim of robbery, where he lost his ID´s, passport, bank cards, equipment, money cell phone, among others during the closing of the festival at the Poliedro on monday 15th of August.
The worst came soonafter when he was denied the rigth to report the crime and loss of his documents in different Police offices who where sending him from one place to another, without any luck to make his report.
He ended up making the report to the Fiscal General de la Republica, highest authority for crime investigations in Venezuela.
The managment comittee from the Festival which paradoxically was suppossed to be for solidarity and to figth imperialism, didn´t want to take any responsability and lacked of any solidarity, when he continuosly went to the head offices to look for help and advise.
David Velazquez,president of the festival and his committee mentioned that they had priorities when Mauricio asked for help and refered to the fact that people like Daniel Ortega where being paid his fligth and a suite in the Hilton Caracas, while he slept in a tent without toilet services and participated actively during the festival. One of the co-ordinators said that some people was more important but not him(Mauricio)
Mauricio still insisted and asked for assistance and then was refered to the Mayor Yeguez at the third Brigade of the Army, when Mauricio arrived was told that the instructions were to take him to the border with Colombia, as if he was being deported, Lopez-Arenas explained the situation to the Mayor Yeguez, who was upset to david Velazquez attitude of wash his hands of any responsibility and send the colombian journalist to him. eventually Lopez-Arenas left the third Brigade of the army accompanied for a Venezuelan that knew the case the nigth of the robbery. this Venezuelan guy, alexander Palacios who is who is the musical director of the vice-presidence group, took Mauricio back to the Festival Offices in Parque Central and went to keep asking for a real solution to his problem. In order to have proof of the way the President of the festival was acting, Mauricio secretly recorded the answer that Velazquez was giving and found himself detained and double locked at the festival offices and suddenly his position of being victim, was changed for an accusation of being paramilitar from Colombia.
He was detained for more than four hours, and was physically and pshycologically intimidated and then freed after he agreed to delete the recording. Lopez-Arenas situation is now uncertain as he was left with no money at all and without any passport or ID. He is in the process of writhing an official complain to the Instituto de la Juventud and is denouncing the CNP(national preparatory committe) who´s president is David Velazquez to a different organisations and government instances such as the Vice Presidence and the Presidence itself. at the moment Lopez-arenas is relying on the solidarity shown by revolutionaries in venezuela and the british journalist Charley Allen
Wait for further reports and show solidarity getting in touch trough Lopez-arenas e mail:, or with Charley Allan(english) phone in Caracas 0058 412 591 3912 and Alexander Palacios(spanish) 0058 416 815 0359

Ana Garcia
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