February Chronicles I: Beating @ Monaco

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This testimony belongs to a friend. It was posted in Spanish on his Facebook wall.

Altamira, February 19th 2014.

“After the second sweep of Plaza Altamira we took shelter in the parking lot of “Monaco” —an old apartment building in Chacao—. A pack of National Guards/Policemen* on motorbikes followed us, and started yelling from the entrance that we come out from our hiding places. One by one we came out, and one by one we were beat up. One of the goons started pulling on a flag I had around my neck to protect myself from tear gas.  I got angry.

—Don’t you see this is the Venezuelan flag? —I said. I looked into his eyes and saw nothing but sheer hate. He pulled on my arm and punched me in the back.

As I was struggling to get away of my captor, a teenage boy was receiving his share of police brutality. A couple of us tried to interfere but it was useless. One of the officers suggested the others to let us go, but that is nothing against abuse of authority.

My brother was also attacked as he came out of the parking lot. One of them pointed a gun to his head.

—Run.

—I won’t run because I haven’t done anything wrong.

—I’m gonna break you —said the officer. Breaking, of course, is the slang for killing commonly used by criminals.

—Then I’ll be another one on THE list.

—Make no mistake, next time I’ll break you.

Being a witness —and victim— of protest criminalization, and unmitigated repression by Government forces, gives you another perspective of what we are going through. The uncontrollable hate of my aggressor and his lack of training opened my eyes. Only God knows where they get these guys from. I realized that no matter how we address the protests, they will always react violently against us demonstrators. WE are the enemy. Not to all of them, perhaps. But as some of us may throw rocks, some of them may use extreme force or even pull the trigger. We were lucky. In the end, however, I’d rather be a victim protesting for something I believe in than a victim of street crime.

*It was dark, I couldn’t tell if they were National Guards or National police. They wore “Robocop” anti-riot suits.”

1 COMMENT

    • In the UK, would he have also been shot dead on the back, or forced to clean his wounds with petrol, or raped anally with a rifle, or held on his knees for 5 hours while being pounded on the head with a helmet?

      All of these before even being sentenced?

      Enough of these false equivalencies. These kids aren’t being arrested to be tried. They’re being shot i the streets, tortured and abused as a way to terrorize the population.

    • I wasn’t doing either of does things because I do believe in protesting with out violence, The national guards don´t care what where you doing, they are repressing because they don´t believe in the right to protest.

    • Show them firing at residential buildings, just because the residents are chanting anti-governement slogans.

      Show them harbouring paramilitary groups inside military police bases, while they rest from shooting at students.

      Enough of these false equivalencies.

      • Exactly. My experience of demos in England is that the authorities may not always behave well, but they don’t that I recall send out the troops to assassinate unarmed protesters, shoot randomly into residential buildings as a form of intimidation, and detain people indefinitely without grounds.

        • Please, show me UK police shooting into buildings full of civilians.

          Please, show me UK police thrashing vehicles in residential parking lots in response to anti-government slogans being chanted by the people.

          Because from my perspective, those police could don’t have to engage people in the buildings. They can arrest anyone out in the street, and then leave.

          Put up the evidence or stop the false equivalency.

  1. definitely, stop the false equivalency! Show us a Prime Minister saying what is going to happen to an opposition leader before even the Judiciary Power decides. Show us armed civilians working ‘together’ with national guards to attack other civilians. Show us hundreds of pictures and videos with similar behavior all around the country. And, then, maybe then, your narrative would have some sense.

  2. all i am saying is start burning tyres stopping traffic goading police on any major UK high street and see how far you get!!!!!

    • you are really into the UK, maybe you should start a blog called londonchronicles and we can all comment of the london police abuse. Looking forward to it.

    • And will those nasty bobbies also stand idly by as illegal armed groups come and start shooting like madmen at anyone on the street? Comparisons of police brutality or unfair processes between developed countries and us are invalid.
      Until such a time as a British Tupamaro is born, you may piss off.

  3. look darren pollard got arrested for speaking on a megaphone, maybe this she be added onto the list of charges against L Lopez?

  4. wiston, do not be stubborn ( assuming the best) or plain stupid and a gross liar (assuming the worst) ….of course, you could get arrested for vandalising in the UK streets, then probably the worst that will happen is a few days in prison, and police record…no policeman will dare to torture you, he or she will be doomed to be ousted from police and going to prison…this is what is called a country with rule of law ( and civil society, responsible media, etc ) in a place with cctv everywhere, so not easy to not get recorded ….that is not venezuela today, with impunity to all the state forces plus state sponsored paras… get real, mr

  5. Maybe the British police fall short because of not having taken training courses given by offshore oppression-expert teachers with weird accents, all from institutes with 50 years of tough, hands-on experience to draw on. But Blimey Days, Mr. Shrout, it really is a wonky equivalence you tout there: there may be egregious faults in UK police control methods – partly terror-war PC driven – but there’s no real comparison with the Venezuelan lot. Blame dodgy info from canted media for part of your grasp-shortfall. I would.

  6. Either this story is not true, or it did not take place in Monaco. The reason is simple, I live in Monaco and was there the whole evening and nothing like what is described took place. We did have some students take refuge in the parking lot, but they could not bee seen from the side of Altamira where the national guard was. The parking lot has entrances to both sides, Altamira and the San Felipe Avenue on the back. It is like a street with fences on each side, the Altamira entrance only for people, cars come in the back. This feeds the parking lot where the students were hiding. Most left through the back. The National Guard was never n the back side.

    • Hi Mateo, I translated the accounts of my friend. I have to confirm with him, but I believe they were hiding in the p. lot in front of the building. They were chased by the GNs. He said some kids hid under cars. I can assure you the story is true, their bruises vouch for it.

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