Amnesty Offer Could Oust Maduro. Critics Call It a Road to Impunity.
Ignacio Porras, 48, looked ashen as he described spending agonizing nights hanging from a cable clipped to his handcuffed hands behind his back.
Rosa Virginia González Arizmendi, 26, recounted how one of her guards would dangle his penis in front of her face, demanding oral sex, and beat her when she refused.
“These were crimes against humanity,” Ms. González said. “These are crimes that cannot be forgotten.”
The three said they came under scrutiny for their activism in opposition parties that Mr. Maduro’s government accused, without evidence, of condoning acts of violence and terrorism. They support the idea of a restricted amnesty provision in the short term if it helps facilitate a transition to democracy, but would eventually want to see a system of accountability in place.
“To forgive is not to forget, but to reconcile,” Ms. González said during a debate on the bill. “To forgive what happened on a spiritual level, but ensuring and demanding the justice that is due.”
The parents of Juan Pablo Pernalete, a 20-year-old who was among the dozens of protesters killed during a monthslong period of anti-government demonstrations in 2017, have heeded Mr. Guaidó’s recent calls to take to the streets.
But they were stunned when they downloaded the amnesty law online and gave it a careful read.
“The law needs to be more specific and grant protections for the victims, not the offenders,” his father, José Gregorio Pernalete, said in an interview at their home, where their son’s room remains largely intact.
“There cannot be impunity,” he said. “There cannot be amnesty for crimes against humanity.”