In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern,
Franklin Brito, biologist, who recommended that farmers use a blight-resistant variety of yam instead of using the toxic pesticides that the mayor of Sucre municipality wanted, is on hunger strike. Here he explains his plight (in Spanish):
Due to my recommendation, the Mayor lost the project (and the financing) sponsored by the Government owned “CVG”. After this loss, the Mayor initiated a personal vendetta against Mr Brito, his property and his family.
· He was immediately fired from the School he was teaching
· His wife was also fired from the Bolivarian School where she was a teacher
· The government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Land agency (INTI), expropriated part of Mt. Brito farm, making it impossible to enter his own land … for over 6 years
He denounced these abuses to multiple instances such as the Attorney General, Labor Ministry, Agriculture Ministry and even the Vice Presidency, Miraflores (Chavez Presidential palace in Venezuela).
After 3 years of struggle, Mr Brito went completely broke, penniless, his children couldn’t attend school, he decided to start another way to get the attention of the Government. This time, he initiated other attempts of hunger strike.
Desperate, he called for help to Hugo Chavez himself, thinking that if Chavez knew about his case, seeing his children begging on the street, he started an even more radical hunger strike.
“I was so desperate that I called the media and announced that I will cut-off one finger at a time, one finger per week until Chavez himself pay attention to my case”
It was on November 10, 2005 that I cut-off my first finger. Three days later, Chavez, publicly acknowledged his case and commissioned “Jesee Chacon” then head of the Ministry of Justice and Interior to solve the problem.
Mr Chacon agreed to pay Mr Brito for his lost crops and land, give back his land, pay the salaries owed for 3 years and even provide Mr. Brito Government loans to bring him back to justice.
He only paid some of the salaries and part of his lands. But he was asked to sign a series of ill and false documents relieving his attackers from all responsibilities in his case.
“Unfortunately, I did not receive any land back. Instead, I use the money to take my case to the Supreme Court”
In summary, after spending all his money trying to get fair justice, Mr Brito got Chavez attention again and he asked to solve Mr Brito’s problem. Likewise his demands went to the drain.
Since July 2nd, 2009, Franklin Brito is pursuing another Hunger Strike, this time seems to be the definitive one. Mt Brito is dying right in from of the Organization of American States (www.oas.org) and nobody seems to pay attention.
El Universal asks, Is Franklin Brito crazy?
Related reading (in Spanish) at Noticias 24