Safe at last!

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1996:

Marine mammologist Ignacio Agudo, left, posed for
one quick photo with Alice Dodge of Pet Search, right, on their
way down the gangplank to Aruba after the first leg of his dramatic
February escape from Venezuela––where Agudo and fellow
ecologist Aldemaro Romero have been wanted for alleged
treason since February 1994, because they videotaped fishers in
the act of killing a dolphin for bait one full year before. The
video, aired on both U.S. and Venezuelan television, severely
embarrassed the Venezuelan government in their effort to undo
the U.S. “dolphin-safe” standard for imported tuna.
Romero escaped earlier, along with his family, and
now lives in Miami. “It is hard for me to recognize Ignacio
without his beard,” he laughed when shown the photo. “I have
never before seen him without it.”

Now in Brazil, with daughters Esther, age seven, and
Lina, 15 months, Agudo was denounced on April 23 and 24,
along with Romero, by an individual identifying himself as Jose
Ramon Delgado of the Venezuelan ministry for foreign affairs,
who reportedly called several Brazilian radio stations to claim
they are part of an “international conspiracy” to damage the
Venezuelan image.
Skeptical, one radio program host called Dr. Jair
Krischke, president of the Brazilian organization Justice and
Human Rights Movement, who apparently not only defended
Agudo but also won an admission on the air from Delgado that
Venezuelan fishers do kill some dolphins.
In notes to Dodge, who brought Agudo to safety
aboard a cruise ship, disguised as her husband, and to A N IMAL
PEOPLE, which helped arrange and finance the rescue,
Agudo announced that, “The organization Fundacetacea, which
I set up with my late wife on March 31, 1990, has now been
renamed in honor of her as the Fundacion Sudamericana Saida
Josefina Blondell de Agudo Para La Conservacion de Mamiferos
Acuaticos (Saida Josefina Blondell de Agudo South American
Foundation for the Protection of Marine Mammals). Our logo
remains the same,” Agudo continued, “carrying in the forefront
a minke whale accompanied by her calf. This is the rather small
whale who is now the major target of the depraved whaling
industry. Given the fact that my wife literally paid with her life
for her convictions,” having died in hiding because she couldn’t
get medicine for a chronic heart condition, “I find myself honorbound
to continue this work until the day I die.”
Romero, meanwhile, continues work to clear their
names. “On May 16,” he told ANIMAL PEOPLE, “the
lawyers of Rights International filed a complaint against the
Venezuelan government before the InterAmerican Commission
of Human Rights, an office of the Organization of American
States, charging that Venezuela violated Agudo’s and my own
freedom of speech, as well as our rights to due judiciary process
and legal representation. The process, though, is a slow one,”
Romero cautioned. The Commission will take months to issue a
ruling. Then, Romero continued, “If the Venezuelan government
does not accept the Commission’s decision, the case will
be presented before the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights in
Costa Rica––probably in another two or three years.”

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.