Report from the scene

A Caracas high school teacher writes in: I have several students living in Terrazas del Avila (far northeast Caracas.) According to them, the ones shooting into buildings last night were National Guardsmen in motorbikes (i.e. government controlled soldiers.) In fact, I have a 16 year old student who took three plastic buckshot pellets: on his upper arm, left side of his back, and on the left of his neck as well. The National Guard entered the neighborhood firing tear gas canisters, which were quickly put out by neighbors by pouring water over them with buckets. This angered the Guardsmen, who started shooting hand guns (9 mm. pistols) towards the buildings where neighbors were putting out the tear gas canisters with water.

Later that night, Circulo Bolivariano (i.e. Chavez civilian supporter groups) bikers came to the access point to the neighborhood, but they didn’t go in. There are rumors I can’t confirm that neighbors were shooting at the Circulo bikers.

In Caurimare (also in the middle-class-heavy east side) the National Guard showed up to remove the barricades the neighbors had thrown up, using tear gas indiscriminately, such that one of them wafted into room 108 of the Policlinica Metropolitana, forcing the evacuation of all patients on the first floor. The same thing happened Sunday at the La Floresta clinic, when a group of bikers dressed as civilians tossed four tear gas canisters into the inside of the building. They had to move 30 patients from their floor, including intensive care patients. (This last bit comes from El Nacional, who cites Dr. Wartan Kekilikian.)

Please keep sending short, factual statements to this email…I will edit and post. If you’re not fully comfortable writing in English, mándamelo en español que yo lo traduzco.