A Caracas court has decided to acquit the Aviation sergeant, Arli Cleivi Méndez Terán, responsible for murdering the young man point-blank
David vallenilla, during the protests against the Nicolás Maduro regime, which took place in the capital city in 2017. However, the Chavista attorney general Tarek William Saab, has rejected the measure and assured that it will appeal the decision making “use of its constitutional powers.”
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Méndez was charged with the crimes of qualified homicide, perpetrated with treachery and for futile motives, as well as for the improper use of an organic weapon. The sergeant has been a prisoner in the military prison of Green Branch, located on the outskirts of Caracas.
Vallenilla, 22, lost his life after receiving lead pellets in the chest in June 2017, when he was protesting with hundreds of people in front of the La Carlota military air base.
The case of the young Venezuelan is included in the files that the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates possible crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime. In the same way, the UN Commission for the Determination of Facts on Venezuela has outlined that the case has suffered procedural delay since 2017 and it was not until February 2021 when the trial was resumed, which has also suffered interruptions.
In this regard, the interim president, Juan Guaidó, has expressed that this decision highlights the need for independent justice in Venezuela. Through his personal Twitter account, the anti-Chavista leader has said that “a few days after the UN Mission for the Determination of Facts indicated that the Vallenilla case resulted in an extrajudicial execution, the justice system hijacked by the Government he has acquitted his murderer. ‘