By Humberto Márquez CARACAS, Nov 4 (IPS) - One Friday at around midnight, on Villaflor Street, a favourite spot for gays and lesbians in the Venezuelan capital, Yonatan Matheus and Omar Marques noticed two Caracas police patrol vans carrying about 20 detainees, most of them very young. When Marques and Matheus, who are gay leaders of the Venezuela Diversa (Diverse Venezuela) organisation, approached to find out what was happening and take pictures, they were picked up too. "Like most of those arrested, our identity documents and mobile phones were taken away, we were beaten, our sexual orientation was insulted in degrading language, and we were refused permission to speak to the Justice Ministry officials and members of the National Guard who were present," Matheus told IPS.........This incident in October was one of the multiple arbitrary arrests carried out against the GLBTI (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transvestite, transgender and intersex) community, within the framework of Operation Safe Caracas, a campaign to crack down on crime involving personnel from several police forces and the National Guard, a military body with police functions.The Venezuelan capital, with five million people living in the metropolitan area, is one of the most dangerous cities in the world; the annual murder rate is in excess of 135 per 100,000 population. In the third week of October alone there were 65 murders, and the central morgue has been stretched beyond capacity several times this year.....
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Posted by De Sube at 11/04/2009 06:46:00 PM