The following is today’s Editorial from TalCual on the events that took place when opposition marchers were blocked by Government supporters, under the eyes of local authorities and the National Guard. The events led to six injured and one death which the authorities cynically blame on the marchers. For those abroad, this is the daily reality of Government-promoted impunity in Venezuela. Just in case, TalCual has always mantained a balanced editorial line by being tough on both the Government and the opposition. Its Director Teodoro Petkoff, can not precisely be accused of being right wing.
What is one more death?
The events of last week in the La Cabrera tunnel and in the city of San Juan de Los Morros, led by violent groups which support the Government, the balance of which was six injured by bullets and one death, can not become a simple statistic. Impunity can not cover them. TalCual has carried out an investigation at the scene of the crimes, the first chapter of which can be read in pages 4 and 5.
A thick veil of cynicism clouds what happened. The victims are supposed to be responsible for the violence. The Governor of Guarico State and the now famous General Acosta Carle ”explain” the events as a confrontation between Government supporters and opponents, obviating the “insignificant” detail that armed groups which support the Government blocked both the highway and the Guarico road during six or seven hours, which constitutes an unqualified abuse against people. What is worse, is that they were accompanied by the complicity of the corresponding authorities, which only acted after the shots fired by the “Bolivarian” hoodlums caused an injury in one case and a death on the other. It is the same impunity that protects those that attack the Metropolitan City Hall of Caracas and which distorts completely the rules of civilized life. The aggressors present themselves as the victims of police violence! In the case of La Cabrera, two trailer trucks were used to block the mouths of the tunnel on the Aragua side, completely blocking traffic from the very early hours of the morning. The monitoring of the road is the job of the National Guard, which has precisely in that tunnel an elite command unit. The National Guard did nothing during six hours and remained unperturbed while hooded men shot against the vehicles where the opposition marchers were driving towards Caracas. When the Carabobo State police showed up, the National Guard left its catalepsy and began doing something, but against the State police, with one cop injured by a bullet.
On the Aragua side, given the inactivity of the National Guard, it was the regional police which removed the trucks and arrested seven or eigth people which it handed over to the National guard command in La Cabrera. The scene of the arrest was taped and, nevertheless, those people vanished afterwards and General Acosta Carle, with an atomic cynicism maintains that there were never any detentions. Obviously, one can presume they were freed on his orders.
In the case in Guarico, the road block in the highway, from 1:30 AM, took place in front of the Army Conopaima Fort, a few blocks from the National Guard and without the State police doing anything to stop the abuse. When Governor Manuitt explains the events he overlooks this detail which could only lead to a confrontation once the vehicles with the marchers going to the capital began arriving. It is as if it were normal to create a roadblock and as if those responsible for the violence are precisely the victims of it. Information gathered by TalCual indicate that the shot that killed Mr. Mendez came from those blocking the way and this appears to be confirmed by the regional Attorney General, which would explain the request to fire her, made by the Guarico Government. Another life has been lost.
Will this just end here?