Massiel

MassielPachecoWe’ve been meaning to write about the sad case of Massiel Pacheco for a while, but … así estarán las cosas … things are so bad that the case has gotten lost in the shuffle of news coming out of Venezuela.

Massiel Pacheco is a working class food vendor in Caracas’ Parque del Este. A few weeks ago, upon arriving to her food stall to begin her shift, she found a bag containing what seemed like homemade explosives.

After consulting with her co-workers, she decided to go to the authorities and alert them of what she had found. She ended up behind bars and charged with terrorism. She now languishes in Los Teques’ female prison awaiting trial, the only person charged with terrorism since the protest movement began.

El Nacional’s Laura Castillo wrote an extensive profile of the sad Massiel affair, including interviews with her relatives. The money quote:

Leaving the bag anywhere was not an option: they could go off in a place teeming with people. Without being able to hand them over to the authorities, she left them close to where she was. At 2 pm, a commission from the National Guard came and, after a struggle, took Pacheco away in a motorcycle. They also carried the explosives in the motorcycle, according to eyewitnesses. “If they are so dangerous, why would they take them in a motorcycle?” wonders Liendo whom, along with other food salesmen, was subpoenaed tomorrow.

According to eyewitnesses, the two militia members [that Pacheco approached initially] never called a bomb expert, nor did they guard the evidence. None of the two have come back to the park.

Santiago (Massiel’s young son) has not been able to visit her in prison, even though she is still nursing him. “I am sleeping with him ever since Massiel left. He wakes up in the morning wanting to nurse, and when he sees it’s me he gets very angry,” says Massiel’s 62-year old grandmother. “Since his mother was taken, he has become very aggressive.” Santiago, withouth knowing it yet, will also have to wait.

Heartbreaking.

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