US Sanctions Venezuelan Military Counterintelligence for Murder of Captain Acosta

The US government has been quick to act after the brutal torture and murder of Captail Rafael Acosta at the hands of Venezuela's state security forces.

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Venezuela’s military counterintelligence and related entities now face the full brunt of US sanctions (Venepress).

The Department of the Treasury of the United States has sanctioned the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) of Venezuela of the regime of Nicolás Maduro, for the murder of Captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo, who was tortured to death.

Upon being included in the list at the Office of the Center for Foreign Assets (OFAC), the properties owned by the management of the DGCIM in the United States will be confiscated, their bank accounts frozen, and their American visits will be suspended, prohibiting them from entering American territory. Any business relationship with persons or companies associated with the DGCIM will be prohibited.

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So far, the United States government has been the only one to react to the cruel murder perpetrated by the dictatorship against the dissident captain. “The arrest for political reasons and the tragic death of Captain Rafael Acosta was unjustified and unacceptable,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

“The Treasury Department is committed to ending Maduro’s inhumane treatment of political opponents, innocent civilians, and members of the armed forces in an effort to suppress dissent,” he added.

On June 21, the DGCIM arrested Navy Captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo, alleging that he was involved in a plot to assassinate Maduro.

When he first appeared publicly in court seven days later, he showed signs of physical abuse. “This is just the latest example of brutality carried out by an agency notorious for its violent methods,” stated the State Department.

Violation of post-mortem rights

Twelve days after the assassination of Captain Acosta Arévalo, the Maduro dictatorship still refused to give the body to his family; there was strong evidence that he was tortured by state security forces. The captain was buried by the dictatorship without any authorization.

A van guarded by the security forces moved the body of Acosta to the cemetery, where a burial occurred without the presence of relatives. Last year access to the cemetery was restricted, and relatives and friends remained at the cemetery doors without being able to pay their respects. They could only enter the grounds once the body had already been buried.

As if that were not enough, on Thursday, July 11, officials of the dictatorship raided the residence of the in-laws of Captain Acosta Arévalo, according to a statement issued via Twitter by their lawyer Alonso Medina Roa. This action is designed to intimidate the captain’s wife, who has publicly denounced the dictatorship’s shameful treatment of the captain’s body.

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