Guaro uprising

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CaptureAlong with other major cities, Barquisimeto has also taken its own share of repression, both by paramilitary groups and the Armed Forces. The protests have, in some cases, been led by prominent local PSUV members. Below, I share a first-person account of a particular attack from a friend. It highlights the way that paramilitary gangs and the Armed Forces interact to threaten and intimidate protestors.

Recolections of the events so far at Las Trinitarias neighborhood, Barquisimeto, Lara State. February 20th, 2014:

10:00 AM. La Trinitarias neighbors start to bang pots and pans at the 6th street entrance to their condominium. Approximately 20 people were there, most of them women and children.

10:30 AM. A group of at least 30 people approaches, all dressed in red, led by Gabriel Guerrero, former PSUV city council member. Neighbors begin to exit their houses to see who the visitors are.

10:40 AM. The municipal police (opposition-led) shows up, and the chavistas leave. They walk a few meters and they hide behind the fire station, which is less than 100 meters from the street’s entrance. They threaten to come back, and warn that it won’t be in peace. They assure us that they will gain access to the street.

12:50 PM. The group behind the fire station begin attacking the neighbors with rocks. All the neighbors respond, throwing rocks back and shouting. Almost everyone leaves their houses this time. The attackers retreat.

enfrentamiento

1:19 PM. A second group approaches 6th street, this time on motorcycles. The sudden presence of Polilara, the state police (also opposition-led),  sends the bikers fleeing.

1:20 PM. A white pickup truck arrives with more chavistas, and it joins the first group. They begin throwing rocks, and large fireworks, know as mortars. Detonations are heard.

1:25 PM. We hear gunshots.

1:30 PM. A Toyota SUV (Meru), a white pickup truck, along with 15 bikers, start shooting towards our street. Shots are fired, along with “mortars” and molotov cocktails.

1:40 PM. The group leaves and starts attacking those in the nearby residential building. The residents confront them and make them flee.

found at the street's entrance after the events.
found at the street’s entrance after the events.

Shortly after, army tanks start to arrive to support the chavistas. One of the tanks breaks into the parking lot of one of the residential buildings and provides access for them.

tanquesAll these picture were taken at the mentioned event. The following picture shows one of these tanks in detail.

tanque_2No casualties were reported. Needless to say, the fear level has spiked in this neighborhood.

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  1. Reblogged this on icookforleftovers and commented:
    I haven’t been working on my food blog lately. My head and my heart have been following the events across the Gulf of Mexico in a little country called Venezuela. I grew up there. It is a beautiful little country. Many of the kids I went to school with remain friends on facebook because of the unique experiences we shared there. Many of us also have friends and family that still live there. Due to the dangerous conditions that have existed there for the last 10 to 15 years, not very many of us have been to visit. My last visit was in 1991. I would so love to visit my family. I would love to show my family all of the diverse and absolutely gorgeous landscapes that this country has to offer, as well as the (mostly!) friendly and generous people and the delicious foods that they have to offer. While the country has had a long history of divisiness or polariziation as they say, so do many other countries. It has taken almost 20 years for things to get this bad. I sincerely hope that it does not take another 10 to 20 years to revert to a stable and healthy country again.

  2. I find it surprising that guns have not been prevalent on the protesters side, particularly because the amount of firearms in hands of civilians in Venezuela is high. 20 years ago, I had 2 handguns at my home in CCS, my friends and family had much more. I have not seen many molotov cocktails flying in Caracas either, how long before they start raining on the GNB and company?

  3. Today at 5AM in Mérida, some GNB troll thought it was funny to harass people with the tank’s megaphone

    Uno se ríe pa’ no llorar.

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