4,000 No Show Jobs Under Juan Barreto

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Quico says: It’s too bad this stunning article by Phil Gunson for the Miami Herald got buried in the week between Christmas and New Year. For one thing, it had escaped my awareness altogether, which is just a travesty.

The piece deals with the literally thousands of Metropolitan Caracas contract workers who just stopped showing up for work after the opposition’s upset win over Juan Barreto in last November’s election, detailing some of the more colorful extra-curriculars they were getting up to,

A close associate of Barreto, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals, said around 50 were employed by a ”community development coordination body” set up in October 2005, and based in the Phelps Building.

Their role, the associate said, was political enforcement, ”intelligence work” and carrying out attacks on the opposition. ”This was also the group that attacked the ambassador,” he said, referring to an incident in April 2006 in which former U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield (now ambassador to Colombia) was followed by a gang of motorcyclists who pelted his motorcade with vegetables.

This group was composed of Tupamaros, according to the Barreto associate. But several other 23 de Enero-based groups have also been mentioned in news reports as supplying ”enforcers” to City Hall during Barreto’s term.

Definitely read the whole thing.

[H/T: Santiago G.]

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