A devastating day

Your daily briefing for Thursday, June 8, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Neomar Alejandro Lander Armas (17) was wounded in Chacao and taken to Clínica El Ávila with the chest shattered by a trauma that killed him. Lawmaker Miguel Pizarro was near the place where Neomar died and visibly shocked, he said that this event shouldn’t push us toward hatred, adding: “People don’t have to die for believing in a different country.” According official figures, Neomar’s is the 66th casualty in 68 days of protests. Although the Prosecutor’s Office appointed 98th Prosecutor of Caracas’ Metropolitan Area to investigate the case, two versions of this murder circulated: he was either killed by the impact of a tear-gas canister or by mishandling a homemade mortar.

Last night, Diosdado Cabello replaced the mortar for a bazooka and read the results of Neomar’s autopsy without having any authority on the matter, while Tarek William Saab tweeted, even though criminal investigations are not part of his portfolio, showing that the PSUV’s always willing to amp up institutional collapse and impose its own mythomaniac pattern.

More wounded

At least two other people were taken to Clínica El Ávila with pellet wounds in the head and the health center’s authorities reported they tended for 25 more wounded on Wednesday, including a 7-month old baby choked with tear-gas. A case stands out, David Osorio (21), with a trauma in the head produced by a wound in the eye.

Baruta Mayor’s Office reports in its closing balance that Salud Baruta tended to 95 people coming from the protests yesterday, primarily for concussions caused by tear-gas canisters, injuries by firearms and asphyxia.

Councilman Jesús Armas reported that 27 had been taken to the Red Cross in La Candelaria due to the PNB’s repression, whose tear-gas and pellets affected children in a kindergarten, the elderly and the Luis Razetti clinic.

However, Interior minister Néstor Reverol had the gall to declare that robberies, attacks, beatings, illegal detentions and cruel treatment are irregularities that “constitute individual and unilateral actions and do not represent the feelings and actions of the entire national body.“

Go check images of Judiciary headquarters in Chacao.

Better victims than victimizers

Neighbors of Residencias Victoria (El Paraíso) were repressed early on by National Guardsmen, who fired tear-gas and pellets. Minister Reverol reported that a sergeant was shot in the right clavicle (despite the vest?), allegedly from Red. Victoria, an event he used to ignore complaints about the GN’s atrocities and turn them into victims.

Commander Antonio Benavides promised they’ll catch those responsible for the sergeant’s wound – an event he labelled as terrorist –, cautioning that any attack against a GN “will be made an example of,” which allowed Defense minister Padrino López to forget the atrocities, praise the GN and ratify his solidarity toward them, while he criticized the opposition’s double standards, condemning repression but also inciting “violence, death and hatred.” That’s why it’s hard to believe Reverol when he announced a PNB had been arrested; we’ll wait for the Prosecutor’s Office’s confirmation.

Res. Victoria in El Paraíso were searched later in the day, with all the misery these operations imply.

At 11:00 p.m., it was reported that first sergeant of the GN Wilfredo Mendoza Plaza died in Altamira in unknown circumstances.

Fueling the abuse

Yesterday, Communications minister Ernesto Villegas demanded: “I don’t want to see one more scene of attacks against journalists or cameramen, I don’t want to see one more scene of human rights violations,” explaining that those actions give the United States more material to intervene in our domestic affairs. It’s not about respect for human rights but about the discomfort of being criticized.

Yesterday, as usual, security forces attacked journalists, preventing them from covering the protests, confiscating their equipment, etc.

If you add the information released by lawmaker and physician José Manuel Olivares, which includes 657 people wounded by marbles, over 170 by pellets and 27 with fractured skulls, human rights violations are a spreading pattern. Thanks to impunity, sadism increases.

Read the joint statement of El Helicoide’s prisoners and their horrible stories.

That strange concept of justice

While the PSUV refuses any form of statement about the accusation against vice-president Tareck El Aissami before Panama’s Attorney General’s Office for money laundering, the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber dismissed the request for clarification made by the General Prosecutor because it’s illegitimate, according to them.

Additionally, the Political Administrative Chamber declared it has no authority to accept a nullification request against the Constituyente, so they handed the case over to the Constitutional Chamber, although the lawyers’ argument for this request is that Nicolás lacks the authority to convene a Constituent Assembly and that he usurped people’s power to do it. This idea, ignored by the TSJ, matches CNE rector Luis Emilio Rondón’s statements last night, saying that there’s a constitutional violation and that the people’s convening power’s been usurped, ratifying that this is a setback for political rights, which can’t be diminished.

Robert lives, Nicolás lies

The government didn’t pay a debt with Russia that they renegotiated last September and yet they revealed through all possible outlets that they signed an agreement with China to refine oil, and they’re also studying the development of joint mining projects, the production of steel bars, glass, concrete and even personal hygiene items.

While the President’s Office Twitter account posted a picture of young chavistas gathered in yesterday’s event, which mysteriously included Robert Serra, Nicolás announced cabinet changes: Pedro Infante as Youth and Sports minister, Miguel Pérez Abad as Foreign Trade minister and Freddy Bernal as Urban Agriculture minister. He promised to create the Bank for the Venezuelan Youth, congratulating the Armed Forces for their brilliant performance in keeping public order; he swore that nothing and no one will stop his Constituyente and said: “We’re conquering peace.”

The match between Uruguay and Venezuela in the Sub-20 Football World Cup started at 4:00 a.m. Venezuela won!! We’re in Finals now!

After such a devastating day, our hearts are with these players, for Neomar, for each kid cruelly murdered in our fight for freedom.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.