Las Matemáticas No Fallan


The sad part is that we’ll never really know what happened during the tense, eight-hour stand-off between the Investigative police and downtown “colectivos” today. We know five people, including colectivo leader José Miguel Odreman – were dead by the time it was all said and done, though the police is now claiming, incongruously, no “colectivos” were involved at all: it was all just an operation to arrest common criminals wanted for murder.


If Odreman was a common criminal, he was the kind of common criminal who, back in February, got to speak on behalf of revolutionary colectivos on state TV, affirming his faith in Venezuela’s security forces and calling – on behalf of the colectivos we’re now told he wasn’t associated with – for Leopoldo López to be jailed.

He was the kind of common criminal who  hangs out with the first lady, with Top-Ranking minister-generals-cum-diplomats and murdered parliamentarians and other murdered colectivo leaders, not to mention with the 2014 Venezuelan National Culture Prize laureate.



Powerful forces are already hard at work hiding the whys and wherefores, leaving us to speculate. Did Odreman know too much? Was this a witness suppression operation? What did he mean, exactly, when he answered a question about the relationship between Robert Serra’s murder CICPC’s tiny war against him saying “math never fails”?!

Watch this on 1:58 and again on 2:42:

We’ll never know. All we know is that less than an hour and a half later, he was dead.

The deep fog that’s already settled over the day’s events is just one outcome of the wholesale suppression of freedom of speech that’s the central achievement of the Maduro era. All the avenues for finding real answers have been closed. We’ll never know, because communicational hegemony.

Will today be remembered as the day postchavismo descended into all out, shooting-out-of-choppers, Modagishu-style factional street-fighting? Maybe.

My guess, though, is that within a month Odreman’s killing will have retroactively been blamed on Alvaro Uribe. Give it a few years, and the guy’s name is going to end up in high school history books, listed as just another victim of far-right paramilitarism.

How do I know? Porque las matemáticas no fallan, camarada. 

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  1. It would be good to have a precis, here, of what we do know. Odreman seems to appear very regularly in friendly photographs with government and PSUV leaders. but he and the head of the Escudo de la Revolucion Colectivo were shot by police. It’s hard to fudge this fact, isn’t it? So can police really kill members of the revolutionary elite without even offering an explanation?

    Maybe I’m naive, but there might be strings to tug on here.

  2. You know how after all was said and done in Cuba, Fidel was in charge and suddenly Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos among others died in the hands of the “counter-revolution”…

    Same thing here, it seems that they could be simply eliminating colectivo leader’s because they felt threatened in some way by their arms and close power on their armed people.

    • Spot on Roy, since the Robert Serra thing I’ve been thinking of La Fiesta del Chivo… Venezuelan version of it might be in the works, where I disagree with Quico is: we will know. We will not know now, tomorrow or when we next check twitter but we will know. If not us, our children or historians down the road.

      • I think most of us were waiting for another chavista body to show up after Serra’s murder, as evidence of the pay back, and the body showed up. I think what we don’t know is simply how far this will metastasize. But we will know, because combatants like to advertise their work, particularly of the criminal stripe that chavismo has nurtured.

      • Moraima,

        Thanks, and I agree. We will know eventually. Every Chavista official with half a brain has been accumulating their collection of proofs against every other Chavista official. These are their insurance policies against being thrown under the bus. Eventually, these collections will surface. Videos, documents, photos, computer files, etc… It will take a long time to assemble them into a coherent whole, but it will be done… eventually.

      • Moraima, in La Fiesta del Chivo, el Chivo was clearly identified. Here’s more subtle. We know the regime is a military one, but we do not really know who is calling the shots.

  3. I don’t buy that the CICPC took him down because he was racking up criminal notoriety. I mean, it is a distinct possibility, but I don’t believe they’d go take him down because of that, because revolutionary impunity. The guy was a colectivo chief and as Jeffry pointed out, he was kind of friendly with the big kids. Plus there’s that video that’s making the rounds where he says to hold Rodriguez Torres accountable for anything that happens to him.

    • My theory is he (Odreman) was involved in the Serra case but the government is trying to cover it up because it goes against its discurss of Uribe, far right, “mala maluca”.

      • Why does he try to speak as if he were a cop? Is he one?
        According to more than one news source, Odreman was a former cop. From ABC News:

        Among those killed was former policeman Jose Odreman, the outspoken leader of the 5th of March collective, one of a myriad of sometimes armed groups that provide social services and rally support for the government in poor neighborhoods.

        He sounds like a cop because he was a cop. Upon listening to him, I couldn’t make the cop language connection, but you could.

  4. I understand that the guy in photo number two who is not dead is the Venezuelan ambassador to Canada. Can anyone confirm that?

        • He used to be Minister for Industry. His appointment has been announced, but hasn’t been effected. Guess THAT’s the shithead I’ll need to go ask for a new passport when the current one expires. Que bonito, que lindo.

          • I hope you have your tricolor track suit ready. Perhaps a red shirt of some kind would be more acceptable and readily available in Canada.

            I’m guessing as ambassador, he has some fluency in either English or French. Then again, qualifications aren’t apparently that important to the foreign ministry given MariGabi’s appointment. Here’s hoping he doesn’t google you. Awwwwwkward.

          • From what I hear I believe the Canadian government has not yet accepted his appointment and may very well not. Something about the reputation of the Venezuelan military what with their perceived expertise in drug business and repression?

    • The development comes after President Maduro first raised the issue of the apparent denial of visas to members of his country’s delegation on Thursday, saying that “we are not traveling to New York as tourists on vacation…we are going to a UN function. I cannot accept that they have denied a visa to Major General Wilmer Barrientos” and indicated a similar situation for another member of his cabinet. – See more at:

  5. June 30-July 2 saw in Hitler’s Germany the Night of the Long Knives. The guy with the funny mustache also had his “colectivos” They were known as the Sturm Abteilung or SA. When they became uncomfortable to Hitler, he took care of the problem in three days. But Hitler was a true leader, while Maduro is a figurehead.

  6. Hola! I’ve been following your site for a while
    now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Texas!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the great work!

  7. Without speculating as to the whos and the hows, I think that the bottom line here is there is just not enough cake to go around any more. So, it appears that Chavismo is beginning to chuck people out of the party. Of course, the people getting kicked to the side of the curb are not happy about it and are retaliating by threatening to blow the whistle. Well, since that threatens everyone, they must be silenced immediately. Basically, we have a pack of thieves that are beginning to turn on each other.

    At this point, I suspect that everyone in Chavismo has assembled their packages of proofs of malfeasance on the part of others to insure their survival. But, using these is the equivalent of going nuclear. So up until now, there has been a detente of the “mutually assured destruction” variety. But, now the cracks in the edifice are showing. This could get real ugly, real fast.

    • It is very likely that the death of one Robert Serra was the result of him being unable to provide an ‘expected’ financial remuneration to a person, or persons, associated with the ‘colectivo’ of one Jose Miguel Odreman. People aren’t getting paid. There’s obviously a shortage bribe money. Perhaps people like Odreman aren’t accepting Bolivars anymore? Dollars or Euro’s only! They killed Serra for it. Brutally. With surprising savagery. Now everyone must be nervous. They’ve run out of real currency to pay bribes with. Rule number 1 in any kleptocracy: Make sure to pay-off all the guys with the guns with ‘real’ money…..

      • This scenario does fit the facts. And all this is coming down at the moment when government is scraping together the dollars to pay off the bond holders this month, so it makes sense that other claimants are getting squeezed.

      • But since Godgiven and Herr Doctor Ciccariello have given us indubitable proof that the colectivos are unarmed- Fascists had photoshopped all those photos of gunmen on motorcycles- there is no need whatsoever to pay those pacific motorcyclists in ‘real’ money. Bs Fuertes will do just fine. And to prove how pacific those colectivos are, Herr Doctor Ciccariello will volunteer to fly down to Caracas to personally hand out Bs Fuertes to colectivo members.

    • “All the avenues for finding real answers have been closed. We’ll never know, because communicational hegemony.”

      Well, the gross of population might never know what is happening indeed, but the online population will certainly do, because now we have real-time information coming out incessantly of twitter and facebook. Check Fernando del Rincón’s twitter account, to name one source:

      Welcome to 2014, Quico.
      Communicational hegemony is an obsolete term.

    • Yeah, we finally reached that critical point in a socialist revolution’s lifespan in which the revolution starts to cannibalize itself, the period when the right-wing must intervene to save the socialists from themselves. Otherwise, they will just keep killing each other like rabid dogs.

        • Why? Maybe to avoid Venezuela entering Mogadisghu’s territory, as Quico pointed out?
          It’s obviously terrible to be ruled by Maduro, but it would be even worse with a “Maduro at civil war” ruling the country.

          • Because 250 thousand murders in 15 years are better than an all-out civil war.
            Or for chavistas, that’s better than like, how many? Barely 100 thousand in like the previous FORTY years?
            One thing is true, we have no proper “war” here, if we call “war” the struggle between two sides that are ARMED.
            Nope, dude, what we have here in Venezuela is that one side is armed and kills as much as they want from the other side that can’t defend or fight back, that, sir, is called a slaughter.

  8. Sorry, I couldn’t see where he says “las matemáticas no fallan”… can you tell me which video has that? I’m desperate for some context…

    • I have played it twice…

      First of all, this was a very emotional “rant”, not a calculated political statement. He was very angry and indignant. He had recently met with the authorities and he felt that he was being disrespected. My guess is that the context of the statement, “las matemáticas no fallan”, came from the meetings and was meant as a message to the authorities, not to the public. Note that he used the phrase twice! I would guess that he was repeating a phrase that he had used privately with them, a phrase that had struck a raw nerve. His use of this phrase in public was meant as a threat. I have two guesses (emphasis on the word “guess”) as to the meaning:

      1. “There are more of us than you, and if we fight, we will win.”

      2. “You are keeping too much of the money I am owed for protection/tribute (whatever). I have the numbers and will spill the beans if I don’t get what I want.”

      Once he made the threat clear, the guys at the top had him whacked.

      • Oh, wow, I don’t even know what to make of this guy. Was he on drugs? Is that the way he normally talks? RIP.

        As for the math statement, it makes absolutely no sense. I’m thinking it’s some sort of underworld code word, like a secret battle cry or something.

          • I think its more simple than that. Being a good little communist, he’s probably familiar with Stalin who referenced, a number of times, the advantage of having numbers. Given his tirade, I’d say its a reframing of “Quantity has a quality all its own.”

    • The only way Maduro can save himself now is to dump bucket’s of Dollar’s/Euro’s over the walls of Miraflores. Medieval style. Pacify the peasants! This is kinda like the way they did it in the French Revolution. You get a bunch of scruffy guys and gals, arm them with flambeau’s, pikes and pitchforks and then head them on over to Versailles, or in this case, Miraflores. Today? The fun starts today? Oh my. Ooooh. I forget I don’t have any more popcorn in the cabinet and only three cans of beer. Oh my, it would have to be today. To the grocery store! Gotta go…….

      • The thing about the collectivos is they aren’t just out there on the streets, although they obviously control a lot of territory. The gangs are connected all through the administration and government. That was a deliberate strategy under Chavez to consolidate his position. It could put a new and ugly spin on the old office politics.

    • Saw this earlier & thought of the mafia wars where one capo disposes of another to take over territory and creates an internal war in the process..

      Last night there were hundreds of PNBs around Miralflores.
      We all know what a coward Maduro is.
      I also believe that he’s a marijuana user which would make him super paranoid.

      Getting real interesting real fast.

      • I quite agree. (back from the grocery…;)) Do you remember seeing the ‘look’ on Chavez’s face on television in 2002 when hundreds of thousands of (unarmed) people were hunkered down outside of Miraflores? Twitching. Nervous. Sweating. Scared. The politics of personal confrontation will do that to you. Angry people. The mob, ….shouting at you. It shook Chavez to the core. He resigned that very night. Perhaps this is what we’ll be seeing in the coming days?

    • The hypocrisy of those redshirts makes me fell sick.
      “Sure, the only deaths that matter AT ALL are those of our gang, fuck the rest of the country.”
      They embody perfectly what chavismo is at its core: “I HAVE the right to do whatever I want, you do NOT.”

      • Death (official) of Hugo Chavez Frias last year. Of course, I believe it was quite a bit earlier than that, but it hardly matters now.

    • I want to thank you: I read your post just as I was enjoying one of my favorite beers, and the colectivos’ palpable outrage really makes it taste even better. Here’s to more shit blowing up in the government’s face! Salud!

    • That didn’t last very long. Apparently this is what thy said today during the funeral services “Durante el funeral del líder del colectivo 5 de marzo, José Miguel Odreman en Cotiza, los integrantes de dicho grupo emitieron un comunicado en el que ahora responsabilizan a la CIA de las muertes del pasado martes ” I guess they got paid off very quickly. We’re never going to get a new government. After all that happens here these people will still be chavistas and keep ovting for the regime. Odreman and the other person buried today wore red shirts.

  9. The people they frame for a murder they committed usually have nothing to do with that crime.

    The first person killed after Danilo was the young lawyer Antonio Lopez Castillo. He was surrounded in his car and machine-gunned in middle of highway. He as given coup de grâce.

    Why was he killed and framed for Danilo? This young man had antisocial personality: Lawyer by day, hitman and extortionist by night. Expert in weapons and explosives… flew up here (USA) to take government-only explosives courses (using false documentation).

    One day he collar-bombed a bad guy trying to extort money from him. Bomb went off killing guy.
    PTJ fingered Antonio Lopez Castillo. The PTJ boss tried to extort US$40,000 from Lopez Castillo who made the big mistake of refusing and even filing charges against the PTJ boss if I recall correctly.
    They let this fester for over year waiting for the right time.

    When the time came (Danilo blown up), they already had their bad guys.

    Odreman was not very smart at the end. He did not see it coming. He had time to elude the cordon or not even be there yet he chose to face the cameras (sealing his fate). When they captured him, his men reacted by kidnapping two cops. That no cops killed tells me this colectivo was not very good at these things. Had these guys been badasses, many cops would be dead. The colectivo was caught flat-footed.

    It seems this Colectivo and Odreman became patsy/fall guy/scapegoat for the dead assemblyman.

    Like in Anderson, the regime needs to place blame fast. For obvious reasons they cannot seriously blame Uribe, Miami, and the opposition because it would never go away and they want this to go away. They don’t wanna talk or hear about it anymore.

    I would like to read replies from PSFs. David, please chime in.

    • So they used Serra’s murder as an opportunity to ‘saldar unas cuentas pendientes’ (settle some pending business).

      You seem to know a lot about the Anderson case. Was the Guevara’s arrest also a case of pending accounts?

  10. Regarding the colectivos, no match for the government. They just call in military. These folks are itching for this kind of fight. They have not used the heavy weaponry in ages

  11. I wanna see that fight: fatass overweight outofshape colectivos against army/sebin/gn/bae/pn/cicpc/dgim

    dont hold your breath

  12. I forgot: there’s also the Santero hit team. Who the fu** wants them coming to your house? That crew should scare the shit out of anyone.

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