A Political Assassination in Altagracia de Orituco

AD's Secretary General for Guárico State is gunned down right in the middle of a campaign event, signalling a troubling new stage in the campaign.

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The last thing Luis Manuel Díaz saw.

Last night at around 7 p.m. a burst of gunfire rangout at the end a MUD campaign event in Altagracia de Orituco, in Guárico State. Bullets ricocheted off nearby shops. An electric converter exploded. When the dust settled, Acción Democrática’s Secretary General for Guarico State, Luis Manuel Díaz, lay dead, with gunshots to his abdomen and side. He had been standing right on the stage that Leopoldo López’s campaigning wife, Lilian Tintori, had used to address the crowd minutes earlier. No one else was injured.

Unasur issued a statement calling by an investigation by “competent national authorities”…as if we’d be in this mess if any such thing existed. OAS’s Luis Almagro was, characteristically, more forthright: “What happened is not an isolated incident, it’s something that took place jointly with other attacks against other opposition political leaders as part of a strategy geared at intimidating the opposition.”

Violence had been absent from this year’s campaign right up until lasts week, when Tintori was actively harrassed by chavista collectivo groups during an event in Cojedes. Days later, a Miguel Pizarro campaign walkabout was attacked in Petare and faced no state response whatsoever.

But yesterday’s attack in Guarico represents a serious escalation in violence. It’s hard to imagine how a campaign that had been free of violence until a week ago can witness a rash of incidents like these dispersed all over the country without someone giving a specific order.

Yesterday’s abhorrent violence settles the discussion on whether or not chavismo has grasped how bad their loss of support is. It should cause woldwide outrage! We’re talking about a politician, shot, on the stage at a public campaign event.

45 COMMENTS

  1. That “como sea” had to be painted as a serious statement. It’s made to intimidate, to instill fear in voters. What better way for chavismo to perform violent acts so that the phrase wouldn’t remain as a mere threat? What happened was absolutely disgusting, but what’s even more disgusting is the fact that there are those who would still defend the government after things like this happen. Altagracia de Orituco was a heavily chavista place. We’ll see if that changes afted 6D.

    • No real surprise here, except that apparently Lilian Tintori wasn’t targeted, and that it occurred in the Chavista safe bailiwick of Altagracia. Also, don’t expect heavily Government-dependent Altagracia to change their vote, as will not a great number of similar venues in these forthcoming largely local Legislative elections. Even if the Govt. allows a small Oppo win in these elections, it will be largely a Pyrrhic victory, what with most major Govt. institutions firmly under Govt. control for some time to come. Expect future similar/greater violence in the foreseeable future, whatever the Legislative elections outcome. This event, however, will provide for interesting discussion at RD’s timely conference on human rights in Venezuela this coming Monday in Washington….

  2. Surprised?. “Como sea” implies violence. It shall not be news as anyone would expect this kind of act as the next chapter of this authoritarian regime were life has become a cheap commodity.

    Escalation, yes. The beast is afraid and it will do everything in hand to defend itself. By the way, they have always said and publicly announced that the revolution will be defended by all means. Maduro is just repeating the script. One thing these people are consistent with is the message of armed confrontation as a viable and willing to take scenario in order to preserve their power.

    Let’s hope our naivety serve us in the hopes of a peaceful transition. But honestly, we are dealing with a bunch of toughs and criminals. Thus violence is warranted.

    • And let no one forget the coded threats of violence from el Eterno, sometimes a little more subtle than what Diosdado Cabello is capable of. It was this coded language that early on brought on the motorizados.

      What we’re seeing now is simply an escalation of the foundation that the thugs put in place, years ago.

  3. One day, when all this is over, Venezuela will build a monument to those killed in this struggle to free itself from this brutal regime. Let us hope that this monument remains of modest proportion.

    Meanwhile, all we can do is convert our anger and outrage into steely determination and soldier on.

    • That thought crossed my mind, but I would hope they are not THAT crazy. They should understand their very lives depend upon Lilian Tintori’s safety.

      • In the press conference she said “they want to kill me” and blamed the government of sabotaging her plane. It seems the gloves are off…

    • I think it is rather: they do not want to kill her but they want to give a clear signal to her that they will. Killing someone else instead would be enough to make her (and almost everyone) reduce the amount of times she goes to those places. Killing her would be too much even for them. That is what I think

      • I don’t think there was a target. No well aimed single shot from an unknown direction. I suspect the intention was to intimidate but in typical Chavista style they fckd up.
        If you want a job well done hire a professional otherwise hire your local colectivo.

  4. I sincerely doubt Lilian was the target of the assassination. It makes little sense. If anything, she was the target of an intimidation attempt. Though she was in real danger.

  5. Just listen to Diosdado spewing his hate, lies & threats.

    We won’t believe what’s coming on Dec. 6.
    The oppos are mounting these attacks themselves for political purposes.
    Etc., etc.

    I’m still betting on an excuse to delay the elections – hope not but I see not one advantage for them to allow them to continue.
    Everyday things are getting worse.
    Shelves are empty & it’s hard to find beer.
    What a disatter!
    By election day they won’t have any followers left – threats or no.

  6. It suprises me to hear some people seem surprised themselves….
    Chavismo started by ignoring a protocol swearing on the constitution, la moribunta remember?

    Plan Bolivar 2000 (15 years ago) started a systematic screening of the military between corruptible and non corruptible… (oximoron?)

    (insert here milicias, colectivos, starving the profesional military while funding alternative forces, narco influence, cuban influence, terrorist organization influences…. long etc)

    2 trillion dollars later, the show is up and everything the regime was preparing for seems to be in the forecast for 7D, loosing power so badly that is can not continue with the window dressing and the fraud….

    Its time for the regime to exercise the capacities it has built for 15 yrs. and switch to open dictatorship mode…

    What is so surprising?

  7. Should this surprise us in any way anymore?

    I mean, chavizmo has been killing venezuelans since effin’ 2002, the pioneers on the mass slaughter of citizens were the infamous Llaguno Bridge shooters sent by the corpse himself, followed closely by “Gentleman De Gouveia” just to pick two examples.

    I’m not saying that makes this a less atrocious crime, I’m saying that this is another crime that adds to a long-ass chain of atrocities commited by this regime by mere political reasons.

  8. I don’t believe the issue to discuss here is about if we are surprised here or not. I sincerely don’t like the phrase “Should this surprise us?”. yes it should because then what are we doing here? The fact that it is or it isn’t surprising to some of us doesn’t mean that it should not be reported and that it shouldn’t be analyzed. And off course is surprising, they shot someone in the middle of a stage, someone with a political career, and minutes after one of the most important people fighting this government got off from that same stage. So yes, I was surprised by this news because I don’t want to get use to reading about political leaders from the opposition getting killed.

  9. Well, the finely tuned skill of victim blaming is hitting with full force in true stomach-turning fashion:

    joge “Edmundo Chirinos’s disciple” is claiming that Díaz was a thug from a band known as the “Plateados” (The silver ones), so his murder corresponds to a “fight between gangs”.

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6672

    This is one of many examples that make chavizmo a disgusting dictatorship, which specializes in murdering citizens for dissention and then justifying said murders claiming that they were criminals and thus “they deserved to die”, which in turn feeds the dehumanizing speech that chavizmo had since 1999 and the infamous “I’m going to fry the adecos’ heads on boiling oil!”

  10. Mr. Toro,

    Is there an option to make a one time payment to Caracas Chronicles? I’m sorry to ask publicly but have not found a more discreet way to contact you.

    You’re doing the Lord’s work for Venezuela. On this day of Thanksgiving I have gratitude for CC.

    • Ms. Caldwell
      Thank you for your support and well wishes. We will be making that option available to our readers very soon. All the best from Caracas.

  11. The Chabestia thugs will do anything for Money. These are simply Malandros for hire. In any half-civilized nation, the country would have stopped for pertinent investigations. But they live in the wild, wild west, or worse. They are used to dozens of daily murders. It’s beyond pathetic. And the world says nothing. Close to nothing. Heck, Syria is even worse, so we all chill out.

    • Kepler,

      Ask yourself… does it make sense that:

      1. If Diaz had been a member of a gang called the “Plateados” that this would not have been discovered by the MUD’s vetting process?

      2. That if Diaz had criminal gang affiliations, the Chavistas would not have found this out and used it previously against the MUD?

      3. If this were a simple matter of a gang feud that the rival gang would choose a highly political and public venue to carry out a private hit?

      Come on… This theory just doesn’t pass the smell test.

      Given the recent spate of escalating attacks on Opposition rallies around the country, including some with gunfire, what is the most obvious conclusion? This is exactly what it seems, including the “Goebbelstv” misdirection and lies. At some point, they will no doubt trot out their “proof”, which will be nothing more than a photo taken at some public event in which Diaz is seen in the presence of someone who has criminal affiliations.

      • Roy, I agree with you that it sounds suspicious. I assume Kepler wanted to know if there is evidence showing the Telesur piece has false information. It should be easy to check – it is claimed that Diaz was arrested on suspicion of double murder!

  12. My wife is a llanera in Tucupido. She is there on business, and earlier in the day Tintori was to speak in Tucupido but her convoy from Pasqua got roadblocked by Chavistas, so a bunch of
    Opposition supporters (mi esposa tambien) came to relieve her. Of course, it escalated to a street brawl, and the the GNB was on scene, they of course stood by.

    Wife has decided to stay for 6Dec., and captains the oppositions legal team at a voting center in Tucupido. While I am proud of her – I won’t sleep til she returns to the US.

  13. […] Luis Diaz, a secretary ubiquitous of a Democratic Action celebration in a state of Guarico, was shot and killed last Wednesday during a open assembly forward of a country’s parliamentary elections on Dec. 6. The sharpened represents augmenting tensions in a Latin American republic over a plummeting economy and steady rumors of corruption, CNBC says. […]

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