Case n° 21/2016: Captain Kenny Strauss Quiñones of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela
Dear Prosecutor, Public Defender, Ambassador and Jury Members of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) and Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR), regarding the case 21-2016 “Captain Kenny Strauss Quiñones of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela”, by means of the present, on 15 November 2016, it is recorded that the trial of the Ethics Committee has been concluded to analyze the violation of Buddhist Spirituality carried out by the accused after voting of 6 members of the Jury , one of them issuing the verdict of “Insanity” and 5 of them issuing the verdict of “Responsible” with regards of the accused for the crimes of VIOLATION OF BUDDHIST ETHICAL PRECEPTS and COMPLICITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.
The actions of the accused “Captain Kenny Strauss Quiñones of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela” have breached the Buddhist ethical precepts and the essential guidelines of every spiritual movement. In addition, it is recorded that during the present ethical judgment the accused has made threats and insults against the Ethics Committee, even after the accused was warned that his actions could be interpreted as an attack by the Venezuelan government against the Buddhist Community. This has shown that Mr. Strauss does not actually violate ethical precepts because he is accomplice in human rights violations, but rather he commits human rights violations because he violates Buddhist ethical precepts. Instead of sincerely differentiating himself from all human rights violations, Mr. Strauss has decided to systematically attack the Ethics Committee, ignoring the possibility of rehabilitation, transformation and Cure provided by the Buddhist Path.
This case presents a peculiarity because it is the first time a student of Maitreya Buddhist University and a member of the World Association of Buddhism is brought to ethical judgment, which is a very sad and regrettable fact, since these organizations are a beacon of light in the world. In view of this situation, the Committee has decided to reject Mr. Strauss’s resignation to his membership, opting instead for his expulsion as a member. This clearly demonstrates that the International Buddhist Ethics Committee does not discriminate when carrying out its mission to purify humanity. Although the condition of being a member of the army may be considered in itself as a violation of Buddhist Ethics, it is the opinion of the Presidency of the Committee that every individual deserves an opportunity to learn and to be liberated through the Buddhist Path, so that it must be provided spiritual education even to soldiers and governors, except in cases where they violate human rights and do not regret of doing so. In this way, the maximum crime against Buddhist Ethics does not constitute in itself the act of violation of human rights, since it is rather constituted by its repetition (karma). When an individual feels no repentance in the face of his or her bad behavior and also attacks the Buddhist Ethics, then he or she follows the Path of perversion and nullifies his-her dharmic nature of learning and Awakening (Bodhi). In this sense, even if there are childish traits in the accused, especially at the time of sarcasm, insults and threats against the Ethics Committee, they should not be interpreted as a trait of Insanity, but rather as a trait of Perversion. Therefore, the accused is fully “Responsible” of his acts. This kind of perverse psychic structure is similar to previous cases of the Committee, such as the cases of Ocampo and Spencer.
On the other hand, the violation of the Buddhist ethical precepts has not been the only charge against Mr. Strauss, since the accused has also been conferred with Responsibility for the charge of Complicity with Human Rights Violations in Venezuela. Indeed, in Venezuela, a series of perverse governmental acts that violate the supreme human right to peace of the Venezuelan people are happening, violating the democratic system and instituting a climate of war, poverty and injustice against the dignity of the population. Although the accused clearly follows orders and, in fact, he does not make oppressive decisions against the Venezuelan people, jurisprudence in International Law shows that even officers of minor positions are also Responsible for human rights violations ordered by their superior officers. Whenever a soldier or government official is aware, he will always have the possibility of abandoning his post, by refusing to participate in violations against the dignity of the human being.
This bad ethical behavior of Mr. Strauss is part of an international context in which human rights violations committed by the Venezuelan government have the silent complicity of international organizations such as the UN, the OAS and even the Vatican. However, because it is an organization devoted to ethical and humanitarian teaching, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee offers Mr. Strauss the possibility of accessing free spiritual education under the condition that he rectifies his misbehavior by publicly denouncing human rights violations of Venezuela and apologizing to the Committee for his insults and threats. In case this misconduct continues, given that Mr. Strauss is an officer of the Venezuelan army, this fact will be considered as a governmental aggression by Venezuela against the International Buddhist Community.
Following the Path of Master Siddharta Gautama, who has led armies towards the Path of Peace and Reconciliation through simple and direct ethical teachings, it is established that the accused “Captain Kenny Strauss Quiñones of the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela” has violated the Buddhist Spirituality, having been ruled its “Responsibility” for the charges of VIOLATION OF ETHICAL BUDDHIST PRECEPTS and COMPLICITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.
The International Buddhist Ethics Committee has a duty to protect Spirituality and the entire humanity, establishing the present Judgment as a form of ethical teaching for the accused and the organization he belongs.
Always with a spirit of reconciliation (maitri),
Spiritual Guide and President of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) and Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR)