Another episode in a neverending war.

Photo: NewsBeezer

Police Force's Shooting Range Taken Over by Gangs

The firefight in Caracas left two Policaracas officers injured and a PNB officer dead. Security forces were ordered to retreat

  • Criminal gangs led by Carlos Calderón (El Vampi) and Carlos Revete (El Koki) invaded on Tuesday the shooting ranges at Policaracas headquarters in El Pinar, near Guzmán Blanco Av., best known as the Cota 905. The criminals’ fire power made Policaracas officers ask for backup from other security forces. The outcome of the confrontation was two injured Policaracas officers, Daniel Martínez and Ricardo Amariz, and a dead PNB officer, Edgar Palacios. It happened simultaneously with another clash in La Vega. The most serious part of the event in the Cota 905, other than the violence, was that security forces trying to track the attackers in the area were ordered to leave the place, awarding the criminals a symbolic and practical victory. It’s impossible not comparing it to the deployment of January 2018, to murder Óscar Pérez and his men when they had already surrendered. We don’t understand the outcome, either. Venezuelan police corps are only ferocious against unarmed citizens and political dissidents. 
  • The Public Ministry’s fast and efficient investigation determined that, in order to murder Guacamaya TV journalists Andrés Eloy Zacarías and Víctor Torres, the FAES used the known pattern of staged confrontation. Tarek William Saab, ANC-imposed prosecutor general, reported it as if it hadn’t been denounced dozens of times and as if it weren’t a part of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s report, where she recommends dissolving FAES for its lethality and crimes. Saab said that the people responsible are officers José Contreras, Néstor Olano, Nerio Álvarez, Andrés Díaz and José Moreno. They also issued arrest warrants against Deivid Guerrero and chief supervisor Freddy Rangel Deroy Ramírez, and prosecutor Jackbe Galbán, for being accomplices. The UN’s recommendation was dissolving this organization. Instead, they increased its budget and actions. Other FAES’ victims haven’t been lucky enough to even be seen by the Ministry. 
  • Nicolás’s vice president Delcy Rodríguez reported that, on Tuesday, they registered 820 new cases of coronavirus, for a total of 41,158 cases they’ve admitted to. She assured that 32,015 patients have recovered (78%), a rare acceleration of the time frame with which a country is able to determine a patient’s recovery. She also reported six deaths, for a total of 343 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • Six healthcare workers died of COVID-10 between Monday and Tuesday: nurse Carmen Flores (Caracas), pulmonologist Dírmero Paz Jiménez (Zulia), ICU doctor intensivista Ángel Rodríguez (Vargas), gastroenterologist Juan Osuna (Monagas), anesthesiologist Aquiles Iturbe Finol (Caracas), and last night the director of Coche Hospital, pulmonologist Miguel Rangel (Caracas), who was hospitalized at the Military Hospital. 
  • The PAHO will help Venezuela buying 370,000 tests for COVID-19 diagnosis, with the warning that the country has few labs to process them. This antibody test is the cheapest, fastest and easiest to process. 
  • The National Assembly denounced that deputy Tony Geara, detained (without a warrant) in SEBIN in Bolívar since March, has COVID-19. They assured his condition is serious. Geara has a heart condition, diabetes and now faces this pulmonary infection, so a special measure is being asked to help him heal. 
  • Nicolás’s Constitutional Chamber of the TSJ keeps paving the road for his victory in next December’s “elections.” They allowed Pedro Veliz for Bandera Roja party and Olga Morey for the Compromiso País (?) party to nominate candidates before the National Electoral Council. 
  • The Venezuelan Ecology Association (SVE) hasn’t received an answer from authorities to their request of having scientists visit the areas affected by the oil spill in Falcón and Carabobo states. The SVE is urgently demanding the permits required, concerned for “how serious an oil spill is on marine ecosystems,” reads their communiqué. 
  • Three private school associations in the country agreed with the Education Ministry to present their proposals for a potential plan for going back to school. Efecto Cocuyo gathered the statements by their directors. Andiep director Fausto Romeo said that a sole protocol for going back to school can’t be developed, but that there must be plans created according to the realities of each region and area. 
  • Ricardo Villasmil, president of the ad hoc board of the BCV, resigned yesterday, after over a year leading the board appointed by the National Assembly. Juan Guaidó thanked him for his service, commitment and dedication. 
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the irony of Nicolás purchasing missiles from Iran,. “It’s no surprise that Maduro’s illegitimate regime is looking for deathly weapons in Iran,” tweeted Pompeo. “This is exactly the reason why we’re requesting the UN to restore all sanctions against Iran, including a weapons embargo. We’ll completely enforce these sanctions.” On the other hand, the response by Nicolás’s Foreign minister, Jorge Arreza, was “The main threat to world peace is the U.S.: atomic bombs against civilians, napalm in Vietnam, invading Iraq based on lies, coordinating terrorist groups in the field, etc. Over a century promoting war and death.” 
  • Francisco Flores, one of the nephews of Nicolás’s wife, Cilia Flores, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, for his 18-year sentence for conspiracy to traffic 800 kgs. of cocaine. Flores and his cousin, Efraín Campo, were found guilty in 2016. The petition prepared by his lawyer argues that the jury was lied to, when a federal judge told them that the men must have known that the cocaine was going to the U.S., a requirement for the sentence. 
  • Doctor Julio Castro—one of the best spokespeople of the situation of COVID-19 in Venezuela, infectologist and advisor for National Assembly—said he has coronavirus. He’s been seeing patients since March, collecting data and talking to the media about the pandemic. Castro tweeted: “Fighting an invisible enemy is always difficult, and even taking all the measures the risk is still there. As medical personnel on the first line of defense, the fear of being infected is always there.” He’s a friend I love and respect, I only hope it’s not that bad.

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.