Intelligence officers confiscate punk rock graphic art as “subversive material” and detain worker

By Venezuelan Voices

Caracas, September 20.- The Bolivarian National Police (PNB) detained worker Jose Guillermo Mendoza yesterday afternoon for carrying “subversive material” and handed him over to the Bolivarian Intelligence National Service (SEBIN), the political police. The material confiscated by the chavista police was a thousand inserts for a CD by the punk rock band Agente Extraño titled Ministro: ¿Cuál es su trabajo? (Minister: What is your job?). The musical work is a compilation of punk rock songs’ covers from the 80s and 90s. The lyrics of the songs, directed against the governments before chavismo, were printed on the inserts as well as a photomontage by renowned Venezuelan artist Nelson Garrido.

Provea, a human rights organization co-sponsoring the production of the CD, denounced Mendoza is simply a worker at the company that printed the inserts and was delivering them when he was detained at a police checkpoint, from where he was taken to the headquarters of the SEBIN at the El Helicoide building, which also functions as a jail. Provea representatives went to the offices of the political police to claim the authorship and ownership of the confiscated material and demand the release of Mendoza, clearing him of any responsibility, but officers refused to do so. According to the SEBIN, Mendoza would be charged at a court hearing the next day.

Following a massive outcry at the repressive measures taken by the authorities, Mendoza was released today at midday and the confiscated material was handed back to their owners.

More than a thousand arbitrary detentions were documented in Venezuela during the year 2018.

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