Venezuela’s Currency Is So Devalued that Cops Are Demanding Bribes in Colombian Pesos

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jul 11, 2017, 12:43 pm
The Venezuelan peso is virtually worthless in the wake of massive hyperinflation (
The Venezuelan peso is virtually worthless in the wake of massive hyperinflation (Twitter).


The cataclysmic devaluation of the bolivar in Venezuela and the brutal repression in the South American country now go hand in hand; state security agencies are increasingly demanding bribes in relatively strong Colombian pesos to release unjustly detained protesters.

It is already public knowledge that the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) and the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) take advantage of opposition protests to arrest innocent young people, torture them, and then request bribes of between USD $500 and USD $1,000 to free them; however, in border states they are also increasingly charging such payments in Colombian pesos.

The opposition deputy for Táchira state, Franklin Duarte, denounced that the court bailiff in the region has demanded payments in foreign currency of the relatives of those detained in protests.

“The head of the Táchira sheriffs, Ever Beltran, is charging 80,000 Colombian pesos (approximately USD $24), to those seeking to bail out their loved ones. We make this complaint so that the presiding judge and president of the judicial judicial circuit, Yorley Perez, take measures,” said Duarte.

He explained that the sheriff is interfering in the cases and that merely to have the possibility a bail hearing, guarantors of the relatives must pay the 24 dollars, a small fortune given today’s economic realities in Venezuela.

The young detainees must not only face the possibility of being unjustly imprisoned for merely demonstrating against Nicolás Maduro, but also face the grim reality that their safety and health remains in the hands of police officers.

On May 16 the PanAm Post published a report with exclusive testimony that revealed that the GNB beats, kidnaps, and steals from Venezuelans who peacefully protest; but in addition they are taken prisoners. In many cases in complicity with the SEBIN (Venezuela‘s intelligence police), they ask for the familiar foreign currency to release them.

In Venezuela the only currency that can circulate freely and legally is the bolívar. The porous Colombian-Venezuelan border region has long been overrun with smuggling and criminal activity.

In Venezuela’s sad new reality of hyperinflation and socialist mismanagement, the stable Colombian peso appears to be emerging as a viable currency for every day use.

Source: El Nacional

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

UN Demands Release of Thousands of Protesters Wrongfully Arrested in Venezuela

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jul 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

EspañolMore than a thousand people have been detained while protesting peacefully against President Nicolás Maduro's dictatorial regime in Venezuela, according to the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. In a statement, the UN condemned actions taken by the Venezuelan regime to smother opposition demonstrations. At least 3,600 Venezuelans have been arrested, with a reported 1,100 still behind bars. "We call for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained, including those who have been tried by military courts," a statement released by Al Hussein said. Protests have raged over the last several months, resulting in violent clashes with police and other law enforcement. The incidents drew international criticism at first for their brutality — dropping tear gas from helicopters onto demonstrations and generally assaulting peaceful participants — but now, the United Nations and other organizations are speaking out against the number of arbitrary arrests that have been made by regime forces, and the continued incarceration of innocent citizens. The Venezuelan Penal Forum — an NGO helping victims of human rights violations in the country — said that there are currently 431 political prisoners being held by Maduro's regime. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   The United Nations also reacted to the Maduro regime's decision to release political prisoner Leopoldo López. Though he is still under house arrest, officials with the UN said the move is a "first step in the right direction." Read More: Helicopter Pilot who Rebelled against Venezuelan Dictator Maduro Reappears in Video Read More: Fuel Shortages in Venezuela Worsen as Refineries Operate at 40% Capacity "We hope that the decision of the Supreme Court (in relation to López) will contribute to reducing tensions and create good conditions for a dialogue between the government and the opposition." Source: Diario Las Américas

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