Violence hits Merida today

January 30, 2004

Lots of violence today in the student city of Merida today in Southwestern Venezuela. Opposition students had organized a march to protest the summons received by many opposition leaders and the Bishop of Merida over the events of April 2002. The march could not proceed because the police used tear gas and plastic bullets to stop the students as they approached downtown Merida. In the middle of the confusion, unknown groups assaulted the headquarters of opposition party Acción Democrática (AD) and burned it. In the last report there were four students and two cops injured. As usual, justice was one-sided, the Governor of Merida state ordered an investigation of the leader of the Universidad de Los Andes Student Union for his role in the violence today, but no investigation has been opened on either the police or those that burned down the AD headquarters. Curiously the Prosecutor in the case happens to be the same one the Attorney General used in the case of the Puente El LLaguno shootings on April 10th. 2002, who were freed by the judge after the case was moved to a Court in Aragua state. That Prosecutor is an expert on environmental matters but is regularly used in cases with important political implications by our esteemed and cynical Attorney General.


 Let us hope that this is not a preview of things to come.

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