Venezuelan People


Liliana Ortega

Just when she was still a Law student, Liliana starts to work in the field of investigation with no other interest than training for professional practice. Little by little she realizes of some reality unknown to her by then so the Committee for families of the victims of the events in February and March 1989, Cofavic with Liliana as executive director.

Cofaviv is a non-government organization for the protection and promotion of human rights, independent of any doctrine, party or religious institution and registered as non-lucrative civil association.

Liliana’s effort has been tenacious, either as director of Cofavic or in her professional preparation. She is currently taking a specialization in Penal and Criminal Sciences at the Faculty of Political and Legal Sciences at Central University of Venezuela. At the same time, she teaches the Seminar on Political Situation, Social Matters and Human Rights at the Law School of Andrés Bello Catholic University.

Her work at the head of Cofavic has given her international recognition; being the latest her election as one of the Leaders for the New Millennium in Latin-American in political matters by Time Magazine. She was also nominated for the Reebok Human Rights Award 1994. She is frequently invited to international forums about human rights all over the world.

-What motivated you to start this fight with Cofavic?

“I started in this labor in a very circumstantial way. I started to work when I was just a university student and I did it more as an academic-professional experience. I was still a student by that time. I got close to the topic with the natural interest that a student might have to pick evidences, obtain data, question witnesses, etc. A law student, we can say. Then I come across some reality that is unknown for me which is the reality concerning Human Rights. It has been a reality that has moved me tremendously. I have found something in this job something very important: it is the type of job I like to do; I mean, I feel very privileged because I have been doing for ten years something that I like. Through the contact with the families of the victims and with the people who have pulled off what the Cofavic is today, I could see a reality that was at great extent unknown for me; the reality of impunity, poverty, what February 27th 1989 meant for Venezuelan history, what it meant for the families and how important that bit of history is for us as not to forget it by vindicating justice. I believe that at great extent during these ten years at Cofavic, what we have tried to do is precisely to deliver that message. That means that the only way to advance in a democratic process, in the topic of Human Rights is by proving them through justice. Justice is prior and essential to the existence of forgetfulness so we will be able to deliver the message –more specifically the State could deliver that legal and political message that any violation to human rights should not be repeated.


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