Violence, Repression Overwhelm the Streets of Venezuela

Spiral of Violence Breaks Out as the Military, Armed Colectivos Target Protestors

EspañolLast night, violence reigned in Venezuela. The repression of the people at the hands of the National Guard and the Bolivarian National Police was evidenced through photographs, recordings, and video taken by demonstrators.

However, what Venezuelans are living through at the moment goes far beyond traditional protests. We are witnessing armed military personnel combined with armed civilians, backed by the same government, attacking peaceful citizens expressing their dissent. Within this chaotic conflict, criminals have seized an ideal opportunity to take to the streets and act with impunity.

Protesters made their presence felt throughout the country — with pans, burning tires, garbage — and obstructed public roads. The military, however, have put an end to all demonstrations, bonfires, and vigils they have encountered.

As thousands of protesters were assaulted, wounded, kidnapped, arrested, and even murdered, President Nicolás Maduro addressed the country on national television and radio and spoke as if everything was under control. For over three hours, the president engaged in a dual discourse, calling for peace but at the same time condemning the “fascists” — a term he uses to identify the opposition. Maduro made it very clear: if the violence continues, he will not hesitate to suspend public services in Táchira, the state where the protests first began.

Minutes after the president’s speech, citizens of Táchira reported the suspension of internet services provided by state-owned CANTV. This left a large number of people without the means to communicate or a way to get information about what was happening in the streets.

Even though there have been seven deaths so far during the demonstrations, including six students, Maduro has condemned the accusations levied at militant “colectivo” groups.

“I do not accept the demonization campaign directed at Venezuelan colectivos. Let’s keep working. If there is a conscious anywhere, it is within these groups . . . I guarantee that what these colectivos are doing is working to produce, organic gardens, culture. In the past, they’ve needed to arm themselves, and now, they organize to protect their community.”

At the same time, social media users were reporting the sight of these Chavista colectivo groups all night — in the streets, on their motorcycles, firing their guns into the air, intimidating and warding off protesters. In Sucre, a municipality of Caracas, these armed groups broke down the entrance of a private residence and made their way through.

In other parts of the city, especially within the interior, the National Guard attacked demonstrators they encountered on the street. At various times, agents of the state opened fire on two unarmed civilians. All of these acts were recorded on video and distributed through social networking sites, given that no media outlet in Venezuela is allowed to report on this.  According to the government, they “would be instigating violence.”

In addition to the threats and gun fire from the colectivos, demonstrators also reported being wounded by pellets and tear gas. Many of them have sought refuge within residential buildings in the area. However, once indoors, protestors reported still being attacked by military officials.

Translated by Guillermo Jimenez.

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3 comments
TecumsehTTIN
TecumsehTTIN

Another propaganda piece.  I wonder which corporation or banking criminal pays people to write these lies.

Dave Hill
Dave Hill

Sincerely wish this violence and repression could be brought to the streets of Hollywood to the doorsteps of the rich hypocrites who are supporting this sick, murderous regime.

reporttruth7
reporttruth7

Thank you again for reporting, Marcela. Your reports are so helpful and provide amazing and horrifying footage. I will continue to share this in the US. EVERYONE needs to know.


#prayforvenezuela