Español Venezuelan officials have effectively aborted the latest legal effort by the opposition to oust the country’s socialist government.
On the night of Thursday, October 20, the National Electoral Council (CNE) issued a statement in which it claimed it has so far abided by the precautionary measures ordered by various criminal courts of Venezuela with regards to holding a recall referendum that could remove President Nicolás Maduro from office.
The CNE collected one percent of signatures collected in support of a recall referendum, which was the first stage in making it happen. But the second stage — the collection of 20 percent of signatures — does not appear to be happening with the country’s courts most recent ruling.
“The Electoral Authority informed the country that it has been notified by courts of the Republic of precautionary measures ordering a postponement of any action that could have been generated as a result of the collection of 1 percent of signatures,” the CNE statement read.
“These decisions have resulted in stoppage (of signature collection or counting) until further court order,” the statement said. The counting of those signatures was scheduled for October 26, 27 and 28.
This decision came after the decision of five criminal courts on Thursday that canceled the collection of one percent of the signatures.
Thus, after the announcement of the CNE, analysts and pundits have pointed out that this means the recall referendum is all but suspended.
EspañolChairman of the Stop Kidnapping Organization Isabel Miranda de Wallace said Thursday that new data on kidnapping reveals an increase during the month of September in the states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Morelos, Zacatecas and Puebla. Veracruz had 37 kidnappings. Tabasco had 10. Morelos had nine. Zacatecas and Puebla had eight each. Morelos, Tamaulipas, Guerrero and Tabasco had the most kidnappings per 100,000 inhabitants in Mexico. The report's figures contrast with those submitted by the Ministry of Interior, who said it decreased by 2.13 percent this year compared to 2015. On Wednesday, the Government Secretariat reported that between January and September 2015, there were 1,126 kidnappings. In the same period of this year, it reported 1,102 — 24 cases less than in 2016. Read more: Mexico's Zapatistas Embrace Democracy A Little Too Late Read more: Mexico Issues Arrest Warrant for Veracruz Governor over Organized Crime Ties Miranda de Wallace attributes this difference to the methodology with which data was collected. "Rather, I think it's a lack of methodology, which we have not been able to get them to follow," Wallace said. "They typify some cases as illegal deprivation of liberty and not as kidnapping. I'm saying it openly: this is a simulation and it's a political idea not to increase the numbers of kidnapping in some states." #BCN 32 víctimas de #Secuestro mortales (2010-16) @WallaceIsabel @El_Tijuanense @gnews_mexicali @lacronicacom @fronterainfo pic.twitter.com/7airtQQ80C — Alto al Secuestro (@altoalsecuestro) October 21, 2016 States with the highest number of kidnapped victims Wallace said that currently kidnapping victims are at risk of being killed. Stop Kidnapping presented figures that show an increase in kidnappings that end in death. In the state of Mexico, there were 177 murder victims; Guerrero had 57, Veracruz 57 and Jalisco 54. Tamaulipas had 40 and Puebla had 33. However, some states also reported no kidnappings, including Baja California Sur, Colima, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Tlaxcala and Yucatan. Sources: Milenio, Noticieros Televisa