February Chronicles I: Beating @ Monaco

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.”

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