[Life is short, you can’t respond to everything, but the story below is so utterly horrific (there’s a picture of her right after she was rescued that will make you violently ill) and what this woman has had to go through so manifestly unjust (it took a hunger strike to get a trial date set), that I simply had to respond.
If you want an antidote to news coverage of “all pretty white women, all the time”, you could hardly pick a better counter-story: and here, they know who the bastard is – they just won’t prosecute him! The blogosphere could make a huge difference in this case — however, a Google search on “Demand Justice For Linda” (and a similar search dropping “Demand” and adding “venezuela”) reveal that less than a dozen blogs (mostly those of women/feminists) have picked up on this story. This needs to change!
If you’re a blogger, and you care about justice for women, link to their site, and Demand justice for Linda, and for all victims of violence against women. -Thomas]
Four years ago when Venezuelan police rescued 18-year-old Linda from her kidnapper’s apartment, she was bruised and cut inside and out and severely malnourished. One nipple had been cut off, her earlobe destroyed, her lip cut off, her skull fractured, and her entire body was covered with cigarette burns.
Despite the fact that Linda’s attacker, Luis Carrera Almoina had kept her prisoner for four months while he repeatedly raped and brutally tortured her, Linda’s case was passed over by the Venezuelan judicial system 29 times and a total of 59 judges declined to prosecute on her behalf!
When she finally got to coury (after three years of struggle, and a hunger strike on the courthouse steps):
…the judge let the man who’d raped and tortured Linda off scot-free, citing a “lack of evidence.” Worse yet, the judge had the gall to order an investigation into Linda on the alleged grounds that she had been part of a prostitution ring.
The appeals court has annulled the verdict (thankfully), but she’s still waiting for a new trial date. If you’re not moved, and disgusted, and enraged by what has happened to this woman, I gotta wonder if you’re human.
Click here to demand justice for Linda, and for all victims of violence against women. It is the absolute least any of us can do.
It appears that this is getting a lot more play in blogs over the last couple of days — probably as a result of the IPPA/WHR mailing I saw. So, my guess is that I was premature in thinking the blogosphere had totally missed the boat.
I can’t post comments, I get “precondition evaluated to false”, so something’s borked. Therefore, this update, to satisfy folks wondering whether this is a psychops plant:
Here’s where the sponsoring org stands: they oppose CAFTA, they oppose the “Gag Rule”, they oppose the Bush Administration’s interference in HIV/AIDS prevention efforts (this is probably how I got on their email list – the Bush Administration’s anti-science ideological idiocy is undermining HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Brazil and elsewhere by forcing funding recipients to condemn sex workers [thus alienating prostitutes, who are a major target of these outreach programs] – see letter to the editor by them on the subject in USA Today: http://www.mrss.com/clients/USA-Today-June-17-2005-Prostitution-OpEd.pdf).
“The International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) and its 46 member associations throughout the Americas are committed to promoting the right of women and men to decide freely the number and spacing of their children and the right to the highest possible level of sexual and reproductive health.”
This isn’t some lameass faked out pseudo front group organized by the CIA.
Or go look at the “indigenous” reporting: EVERYONE in the country is pissed off (especially the women, who are up in arms about this — and it is the women bloggers in the U.S. who have picked up on this most emphatically)… this isn’t an attempt to smear Chavez, this is the equivalent of that [bleeped] up case in Italy where the judge said the woman couldn’t be raped because her jeans were too tight (only far more horrific)… only worse, it appears, because everyone seriously believes that the judge was bribed and pressured into the ruling, by the attacker’s wealthy/influential father.
As soon as the incredible decision was known, a chain of reactions occurred in several sectors of the Venezuelan society. Women, through their organizations, demanded from the Supreme Court of Justice, the dismissal of judge Rosa Cadiz, coincident with a similar petition by the Attorney General, the Venezuelan Association of Women Lawyers, political parties and the last one, really unheard of, on October 26, for the first time in almost five years, there was an unanimous vote of government and opposition in the National Assembly, to condemn the sentence and ask for the investigation of the judge. (source: Venezuelan newspaper)
The guy who specializes in blogging about Venezuela for Salon, “The Devil’s Excrement”, has written about this for a while, and specifically references this campaign as linking back to him:
and he’s a Chavista sympathizer.
He says, in the comments to his original post on the subject last October:
“I must say the Government has also reacted with outrage, from the People’s Ombudsman to Maduro, to the Prosecutors that are asking the judge be fired.”
Finally: look through Technorati – all the older posts are in Spanish. Would the Bush Administration push a PR smear that never reaches the American press?!?
Is this enough background checking folks? This is a real case, with a real victim, who is supported by the entire society (Chavista and otherwise) – outside of the corrupt pool of monied elites Chavez is trying to wrest control of the country from.
Suggest that before folks go all paranoid and think something like this is a psyops manuever, that they do background research themselves… the blogosphere is self-correcting, and so far, I haven’t seen any “corrections”.