FAES, Maduro’s ‘Extermination Group’

first_imgBy Dialogo December 05, 2019 They patrol on motorcycles. Wearing masks, with a skull embroidered on their uniforms and with bullet-proof vests and assault rifles, the members of the Bolivarian National Police’s Special Actions Force (FAES, in Spanish) are frequently seen in Venezuela’s poor neighborhoods. Their presence is ominous.FAES has been accused of carrying out thousands of extrajudicial executions since their activation in July 2017. The vast majority of its victims, according to several local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), are young people who do not support the Nicolás Maduro regime.“The FAES’ average victim is a dark-skinned male between 19 and 31 years old who lives in a low-income, popular area […] and leaves behind orphans,” Edwin Gil, a lawyer for the human rights NGO Proiuris, told Diálogo.Standing next to a white board with dozens of names of FAES victims, Gil shares his routine in Caracas. He spends very little time in court, he says, but a lot of time at the morgue. He goes there three times a week, and that is how he has managed to take the initial steps to provide legal support for 28 cases of extrajudicial executions involving FAES.While the organization records executions at the national level (it registered 130 just in October 2019), up to now their legal activities are centered in Caracas and “only on FAES,” says Gil. According to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, security forces execute some 20 people a day in the country — the majority at the hands of FAES.At the morgue, Gil seeks to make contact with the families of the deceased and provide legal support to the bereaved who accept his offer. The majority, however, prefer to “let things be,” says the lawyer.“Each day that we go to the morgue we see two possible cases, maybe three,” says Gil. “The rest [of the family members] don’t want to make a report out of fear”.The situation with FAES is so problematic that on July 4, 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called for its dissolution. One day later, Maduro included agents of the force in the military parade to celebrate independence day. On July 17, he reiterated his support in a public act, declaring, “Long live FAES!”Very little is known about the police corps, how they’re recruited or trained, or how many members it has. Its agents are anonymous and move about with their faces covered. In August 2019, the United States sanctioned its commander, Bolivarian National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Enrique Bastardo Mendoza, for human rights violations.What is certain, according to activists, is that FAES shoots to kill.“FAES is an extermination group created by the dictatorial regime to kill or make anyone who gets in their way disappear,” Carlos Nieto, a lawyer who heads Venezuelan NGO Una Ventana Hacia la Libertad (A Window to Freedom, in Spanish), told Diálogo. “Not just people tied to politics, it also includes delinquents and anyone who makes their job hard. It was created to kill people, to murder citizens.”Bullets to the chest, shots through the heart or in the head are characteristic of the way FAES operates, says Proiuris. The majority of death certificates reviewed by the organization indicate hypovolemic shock — a massive loss of blood — as the cause of death.“The official version is always that it’s a confrontation,” says Gil. “But it’s strange; the victims almost always die of hypovolemic shock. This corresponds more to an execution.”Proiuris’ investigation revealed that when the victims don’t die immediately, FAES agents abstain from providing first aid and take them to a hospital far from where the shooting took place. “The goal of police agents is not to leave any survivors,” says the organization on its website.Planting fire arms, drugs, and even stealing from family members are other tactics used by FAES, said Luis Ezequiel, Criminology professor at the University of Central Venezuela, during a mid-October forum organized by Proiuris.There are few known cases of FAES members brought to justice. At the end of October, six FAES agents were charged and will be prosecuted — thanks to Proiuris’ legal support — for the March 2019 homicide of two officers of the Municipal Police of Chacao, a subdivision of Caracas. The organization points out that four others are detained for the murder of a 24-year-old nursing student in a poor neighborhood of Caracas in July 2017.“They were captured in December 2018 and haven’t even been tried,” says Gil, adding that they could be set free at any time.According to Venezuelan NGO Cofavic (Committee of Family Members of Victims of Violence, in Spanish), 98 percent of cases are exempt from charges.last_img read more

Riot Games to be honoured by BAFTA with special award

first_imgLeague of Legends co-CEOs and co-founders Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill are set to be presented with a special award by the British Academy of Film and Television (“BAFTA”) next week. The award will be received on Monday 12th June at a special event at ‘The London, West Hollywood’. Brandon and Marc will accept the award on behalf of Riot Games. Credit: Riot GamesThe award is in recognition of the Riot’s “creative contribution to the games industry”. Other professionals in games to have previously received a BAFTA Special Award are: Brenda Romero (best known for work on Wizardry RPG); Amy Hennig (known for Legacy of Kain, Uncharted and SNES) and Markus Persson (best known for Minecraft). Nick Button-Brown, Chair of BAFTA’s Games Committee, commented in the release: “Riot Games has had a major influence on our industry, from the way they work as a company, to the way they have constantly improved and evolved League of Legends, through to their approach in esports and the way they create wonderful must-see events. Their worldwide events, their stadium-filling matches and the generation of stars that they have created have changed the way we and many other industries look at games.He continued: “At BAFTA we aim to champion innovation and creativity. We are therefore delighted to recognise Riot Games with this BAFTA Special Award.”League of Legends won a BAFTA back in 2015, winning the “Persistent Game” title. It has since been nominated in both 2016 and 2017 for the AMD Esports Audience Award. The award was won this year by Clash Royale, to the surprise of many.Esports Insider says: Congratulations to Riot Games on its award. As one of the pioneers of esports growth I doubt there’ll many arguing against this award. It’s another accolade for the company. Now all eyes turn back to the franchising of the NA LCS and how well the new business model performs.– Sign up to our newsletter for a weekly roundup of all key esports industry news –last_img read more

Women’s Soccer registration now open

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -Registration for Women’s Soccer is now open as the season is to start soon.They will be having their Annual General Meeting Tuesday on the first floor of the Pomeroy Event Centre from 7p.m. to 8p.m. Interested new players as well as returning ones are invited to attend, as there will be a door prize for a free registration. The fall/winter league begins in October and runs until March.Players of all fitness and skill levels are encouraged to sign up.- Advertisement -Registration closes on September 30th.For more info visit:www.fsjwsl.comlast_img