Authorities in Venezuela are in possession of the “torture” video which shows a St Lucian man being held hostage and beaten.
Venezuela’s Ambassador to St Lucia Leiff Escalona confirmed that her embassy had forwarded the information to Venezuelan Authorities.
However the Ambassador said she could not confirm whether the captors heard on the recordings are indeed Venezuelan.
“The authorities cannot act based on rumours. We don’t know if the situation really happened in Venezuela, if the individuals are Venezuelan as you mentioned. We don’t know,” she said.
The graphic video, which first surfaced over the weekend, has sent shockwaves throughout St Lucia.
It shows 19 year old Scott Atkins of Desruisseaux, wearing what appears to be a blood-stained shirt, handcuffed and suspended from the ceiling by his hands, pleading for his life.
“Mommy, tell Shawn pay the people for me – mommy, mommy, the people go kill me! The people go cut my head!” The victim says as automatic weapons are pointed at his head.
In another video Atkins is seen lying on the ground while two men, one with an automatic weapon and another with a chain saw, stand over him.
In yet another video the victim is shown being beaten and hit on the head with a handgun.
The victim’s mother has refused to comment on the videos apparently out of concern for her son’s safety.
Escalona told RCI’s News-Spin program Wednesday that the embassy sympathizes with the young man’s family and she hopes the situation could be resolved.
The Venezuelan Ambassador said her embassy had forwarded the information that it received to the authorities in Venezuela. She did not indicate which branch of the government was in receipt of the information or whether an active investigation was underway.
“Our embassy has sent the little and very inexact information that has been received to the authorities in Venezuela and we are waiting – maybe I’m not sure. But the authorities have the information now.”
According to the Ambassador, the government of Venezuela stands ready to assist St Lucia and other Caribbean countries in the fight against the illegal drugs trade.
Venezuela has been gripped by political instability with almost daily street protests which has left more than one hundred people killed since April 1, according to the BBC.
The unrest has further hammered an imploding economy that is running short of food and medicine.