Caracas, November 28, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Eleven members of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) were arrested over the weekend for their alleged role in the murder of twelve people.
The military personnel, including a lieutenant army coronel, have been detained in connection with the discovery Friday evening of a pair of mass graves containing twelve cadavers in the mountainous Acevedo municipality of Miranda state.
The bodies reportedly correspond to twelve residents of Barlovento, who have been missing since they were detained on October 16 by military officials operating under the government anti-crime campaign the Operation Liberation of the People (OLP).
Venezuela’s Defense Ministry issued an official statement condemning the incident and calling for an impartial investigation.
“Nicolas Maduro, President of the Republic and Commander-in-chief of the FANB… orders the dishonorable discharge of those responsible of having violated with their conduct the values and principles that represent us,” the statement reads.
Additionally, the ministry in name of the president pledged “all its support” to the families of the victims, including “state compensation and reparations”.
For his part, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol pledged that he “would not rule out further arrests until the incident is totally cleared up”.
Family members of the victims travelled to Caracas in the company of military officials on Sunday in order to meet with prosecutors and forensic experts.
Over the summer, Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz raised concerns over human rights abuses committed under the umbrella of the OLP, noting that a “high incidence” of state security personnel are currently facing criminal prosecution for alleged misconduct.