6. In these circumstances, the actions of a considerable share of the state agents in efforts to re-establish the public order necessary for safeguarding the lives and security of persons presumably resulted in several human rights violations. 7. The petitioners allege that on December 21, 1999, at 2:00 p.m., a group of paratroopers commanded by (Army) Lt. Federico Ventura Infante, attached to Company 422 of “Col. Antonio Nicolás” Paratrooper Infantry Battalion, arrived at the residence of Oscar José Blanco, where it tried to knock down the door of the residence. Mr. Blanco Romero, who was in the company of his wife, Mrs. Alejandra Iriarte de Blanco, his mother-in-law, Mrs. Vitalina Mundaray, and his four children, Aleoscar Russeth Blanco Iriarte, 12 years old, Eduardo José Romero Blanco, 7 years old, Oscar Alejandro Blanco, 6 years old, and Orailis Del Valle Blanco Romero, 2 years old, went out to meet them and open the door for them, at which time the soldiers entered the house and began to break the furniture, and even to shoot at the house. Immediately thereafter, Mr. Blanco was beaten and detained by the members of the military. Then, at approximately 5:00 p.m., members of the Bureau of Intelligence and Preventive Services (DISIP: Dirección de Servicios de Inteligencia y Prevención) arrived; Mr. Oscar Blanco Romero was turned over to them. When Mrs. Alejandra Iriarte de Blanco asked the members of the police where her husband would be taken, they did not respond. 8. Beginning on December 23, 1999, Mrs. Iriarte de Blanco sought information as to the whereabouts of her husband from Garrison 58 of the National Guard, in the state of Vargas, from the DISIP paratrooper operations stationed in the state of Vargas, from the Maiquetía International Airport, and from the Helicoide, the base of DISIP operations in Caracas; to this day, she has yet to find her husband’s name on any official list. Given the circumstances and Mrs. de Blanco’s desperation, she reported the disappearance of Mr. Oscar José Blanco Romero to the Senior Prosecutor of Vargas and to the Technical Judicial Police Corps. 9. On January 24, 2000, Mrs. Alejandra Iriarte de Blanco ratified the complaint before the Public Ministry of Venezuela, and on January 28, 2000, she filed a writ of habeas corpus before the Fifth Court of Review of the Criminal Judicial Circuit for the State of Vargas. 10. On January 29, 2000, Division General Lucas Enrique Rincón Romero, General Commander of the Army, recognized the detention of Mr. Blanco by a commission under the charge of (Army) Lt. Federico José Ventura Infante, of the 422nd Paratrooper Infantry Battalion “Col. Antonio Nicolás Briceño,” indicating that the detainee was handed over immediately to a DISIP commission under the command of a Commissar (Comisario), dispatched to the site by (Army) Lt. Col. Francisco Antonio Briceño Araújo, Unit Commander. 11. On January 29, 2000, (Army) Captain Eliécer Otaiza Castillo, Director General of the Bureau of Intelligence and Preventive Services (DISIP), answered officially to the Fifth Court of the State of Vargas that Mr. Blanco Romero had not been detained by the DISIP. 12. On February 1, 2000, the Fifth Court of the State of Vargas declared that there was no subject matter on which to decide in relation to the writ of habeas corpus filed by Mrs. Alejandra Iriarte de Blanco. 13. On February 10, 2000, the Court of Appeals for the Criminal Judicial Circuit of the Judicial District for the State of Vargas affirmed the decision of the Fifth Court of Review by which it declared that it did not have any subject matter on which to decide in relation to the writ of habeas corpus filed on behalf of Mr. Blanco Romero. 14. In relation to the exhaustion of domestic remedies, in the case of the forced disappearance of Oscar Blanco Romero, the petitioners requested the opinion of Mr. Jesús María Casal, expert in Venezuelan constitutional law, who noted as follows: I. Scope of protection of habeas corpus under Venezuelan law 2

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