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.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.