Jul 26, 2017

Venezuela couple move to sue officials over death of son

The parents of Juan Pablo Pernalete, a Venezuelan student killed at an anti-government protest have taken the first step towards suing a number of high-ranking Venezuelan officials. Shortly after the student's death, government officials including Information Minister Ernesto Villegas, then-Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and deputy leader of the governing socialist PSUV party Diosdado Cabello denied the National Guard was responsible. Mr Cabello blamed "Gunmen in the service of the bourgeoisie" for Juan Pablo Pernalete's death and insisted there were no National Guard personnel in the area at the time. Mr Pernalete's parents accuse the officials of deliberately twisting events to suit their narrative and of deceiving the public by trying to cover up the role played by the National Guard. The parents want to sue the officials, which also include Defence Minister Gen Vladimir Padrino López and the head of the National Guard at the time, Gen Jose Benavides, for the psychological damages they said they suffered as a result of their alleged attempts to cover up the murder of Juan Pablo Pernalete.

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