U.S. Sanctions Four More Service Members from Maduro’s Disputed Government

Voice of America/VOA | 13 August 2019

An opposition activist holds a kite with the name of deceased Navy Commander Rafael Acosta Arévalo, who died while in DGCIM custody. The U.S. government sanctioned four service members from the organization, on July 19, 2019. (Photo: Yuri Cortez, AFP)

On July 19, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned four service members of the Nicolás Maduro regime, accused of repressing and torturing Venezuelans.

The U.S. government included in the list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control officials who are part of the Military Counter Intelligence General Directorate (DGCIM, in Spanish), which was also sanctioned after the death while in custody of the agency of Navy Commander Rafael Acosta Arévalo. 

These service members were included in the list of the Specially Designated Nationals of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The officers are Colonel Hannover Esteban Guerrero Mijares, one of DGCIM leaders; Major Alexander Enrique Granko Arteaga, DGCIM chief of the Special Matters Unit; Rafael Antonio Franco Quintero, director of Investigations; and Rafael Blanco Marrero, former director of DGCIM’s central region.

According to an article in the newspaper El Nacional from Venezuela, Sebastiana Barráez, a journalist specialized in military sources, said Granko is a man who has the complete trust of DGCIM chief, Iván Hernández Dala, which has allowed the officer to impose brutal acts of torture against detainees.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence had said the government would take measures against these four service members for “repressing and sanctioning innocent Venezuelan citizens.”

“We stand with Venezuela’s citizens against their oppressors in the fight for freedom”, he said via Twitter.

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