Author: Xavier Coscojuela | Originally published in Spanish by Tal Cual, 27 February 2019.
Today marks four years since the disappearance of Alcedo Mora and brothers, Jesús and Esneider Vergel, who lived in the Venezuelan state of Mérida. The Maduro administration remains silent on the matter, despite the Attorney General of the Constituent Assembly, Tarek William Saab, having promised in May 2018 that investigations would soon conclude.
On 27 February 2015, Mora sent a text message to his family to inform them that he was going to be detained by agents of the Military Intelligence Service. Mora claimed that this was a result of his investigations into apparent irregularities at a gas station owned by Petróleos de Venezuela in Mérida.
In July 2017, the father of the Vergel brothers, Jesús Eliecer Vergel, reported that he had been kidnapped by agents of the Bolivarian Intelligence Services and paramilitary groups from Colombia. He was detained for six days and was told that his sons and Mora had been killed, and that anyone who tried to investigate the matter would meet the same fate.
Mora’s sons have decided to leave Venezuela and, from Ecuador, have sent the following letter:
This day, 27 February 2019, marks four years since the disappearance of our father, Alcedo Mora Márquez, who dedicated his life to social activism. The campaign for justice that we have run with the Vergel family has not been fruitful. Since then, the incompetent, hostile, perverse and increasingly deadly government has perpetrated many more crimes of humanity against its citizens.
We have reported on these cases domestically in Venezuela and to international bodies, with the assistance of human rights organizations like Provea and Cofavic, among others. We are grateful for the support that they have offered to the victims of state abuses. Likewise, we are grateful to our friends and allies who have spoken out against these violations. We continue to rebel and refuse to kneel before those who consider themselves to be all-powerful.
In all truth, as we reach the end of four long years without any answers or justice, we are overwhelmed by grief, concern, despair and a deep sadness. It pains us to known that there has been no progress towards justice despite our persistent efforts. We are worried and hurt to see Venezuelan families who are subject to hardships at the hands of dictatorial and cowardly politicians. It is agonizing to watch our brothers and sisters cross borders on foot in search of a better future for their children elsewhere, because their future has been robbed for them at home.
We ask that the international community, the OAS, the UN and Unasur support our demands for justice and intervene to put an end to the dangers faced by all Venezuelans. We ask for their help and their support in investigating the case of our father Alcedo Mora Márquez and the Vergel brothers, who were disappeared for denouncing a corrupted state.
We had never anticipated spending four years without our father or without any information as to his whereabouts or wellbeing. It is disturbing to know that the culprits of his disappearance walk freely as though nothing has happened. It is common knowledge that the suspects include ex-governor, Alexis Ramírez, cousin of former PDVSA minister Rafael Ramírez, and Luis Martínez Rico, alias Luis Petróleo. They should answer to charges of harming our father after he denounced corruption in PDVSA. Instead, they are protected by the military corporate doctrine that is headed by Nicolás Maduro.
Life for Venezuelan migrants is difficult. We have been forced out of our home country largely as a consequence of a protracted economic, political and social crisis. We have also been displaced by the paramilitary groups that are managed by this military corporate doctrine.
We ask for the whereabouts of our father. We ask for support. We ask for justice. We cannot wait any longer for the truth.
The culprits must pay a price. Their identities are known.
JUSTICE. JUSTICE. JUSTICE.
The Mora Family
Alcedo G. Mora Carrero
Simón Mora Carrero
Natalhy Mora Uscátegui