Mérida, Venezuela (21/09/2018). – Judge Carlos Márquez, who is the judge responsible of prosecuting Carlos Varón and Ricardo Prieto, both firemen from the State of Mérida Fire Department facing aggravated charges of hate for recording a satirical video, describes himself as a communist, praises the ex-president Chávez, and is an active member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Mr Márquez, a 52-years-old lawyer studied at the University of Los Andes, currently serves as provisionary/provisional judge as of March, 2017. He previously worked as court clerk for the Criminal Judicial Circuit of the State of Mérida.
In an inquiry carried out by the Observatory of Human Rights of the University of Los Andes (ODH–ULA), it was found that Judge Carlos Márquez defines himself as a communist in his social media and exhibits his sympathy for the government.
This being the case, in an article published in the website www.aporrea.org dated June 1, 2017, says he is of “the people who does not take orders from the palaces of the Countrie Club [sic], because we do not have fancy houses, but we have a resolute commander in the Palacio de Miraflores”. In the same article, he praises the late President Chávez.
In his Facebook profile, www.facebook.com/carlos.m.vielma, Judge Carlos Márquez advocates for the building of the socialist state, sympathizes with the government party, admires ex-president Chávez, and involves himself with political proselytism. The ODH–ULA considers it a violation of the National Constitution, the Code of Ethics for the [Venezuelan] Judge, as well as international principles regarding the independence of the judiciary.
For the ODH–ULA, it is also paradoxical that this judge indicts two firemen with aggravated charges of hate and, at the same tame, endorses violence in his social media by having photos with guns in front of a colectivos building, located in Santa Juana sector, in the city of Mérida.
It was also known by the ODH–ULA that Judge Carlos Márquez became noticed in the judiciary for prosecuting, as presiding judge of the 3rd Tribunal of Control, about 200 participants in the 2017 demonstrations, including professo
rs, teenagers, and citizens, even when there was not sufficient evidence.
Among other acts carried out by the judge were the postponement of hearings and to grant bails. The intention behind these measures was to prolong the time of detention of detainees. Besides, he disregarded the prosecution when it requested for full freedom in the cases where police reports did not provide sufficient evidence to present charges.
He even threatened the prosecution for not presenting charges against the detainees during the demonstrations against the government of Nicolás Maduro in the first half of 2017.
In this regard, the ODH–ULA recalled that on July 6, 2017, professors denounced the malice that Judge Márquez shown against Rafael Cuevas, a ULA professor who was unlawfully apprehended on June 26, 2017 during a peaceful protest at the economic and political crisis in Ven
While the 45 days of investigation stage—plus all subsequent stages—for the criminal proceeding pass, the ODH–ULA urges the judiciary to do not politicize justice, do not criminalize the freedom of expression and criticism, and to dispense a fair, impartial and independent trial, as provided by law and international treaties to which Venezuela is a party. / Press ODH–ULA