Archive for February 7th, 2009

Opposition closes campaign with a march in favor of the NO vote

February 7, 2009

Today was the march in favor of the NO vote in the upcoming amendment referendum. It was huge, I have been to quite a few marches and never felt it so congested as today, many times I thought I could not move forward and when I finally managed to get to the front, the speakers were done. Here is a picture of the march:

marchaThis was taken from the top of the Avenida Libertador bridge, you can see the stand way at the end on the right.

The students make a huge different on these marches, they sing, shout and dance with joy and keep it up the whole way. The distance was long from Petare to the end of Avenida Libertador (Is it the first one to leave from Petare?).

I took this video of the students, there were more exciting moments for them, but this is the best one I managed to capture. I will help you feel the nature and excitement of the students:

Of course, a huge march does not determine the outcome, but one has to be encouraged by this.

When institutionality crumbles, people take the law into their own hands

February 7, 2009

This is a terrifying story of the consequences of the crumbling institutionality in Venezuela. Last Wednesday, in the Matanzas barrio of El Valle, a group of people grabbed a man, accused of two rapes in their neighborhood, started clobbering him, shooting guns at him and once he was dead, burned his body beyond recognition.

This was not a small group of people, this included men, women and children and reportedly, even cops. Soe participated, others watched and even scarier, they recorded the lynching in their cell phones. The body was burned four times, each time a new reporter showed up, it was burned anew. The people are not even sure that they got the right guy. In denouncing the rapes to the police the two men do not appear to coincide with the dead man. But one of the women raped said the guy with the cut in his face was the man that raped her. Except the police claim that the man that escaped was the one with the cut in his face.

Here is a picture of the people as the body was burned, look at all the people taking pictures:


This was not done in obscure corner of El Valle. This was done in one of its main streets. Lots of people saw it, lots of people celebrated it. There is even joy at the lynching.

This is what happens when institutionality crumbles and people begin losing their values. Violence becomes an everyday affair. The frustration of suffering daily from threats, whether real or not, and not having someone to go to, ends in these equivalent violent expressions of hate and collective outrage. When groups of people get together to perpetrate such a barbaric act, there is something terribly inhuman that surfaces. When they calmly record it and cover each other up, there is a sense that something very important has been lost in Venezuela. Violence begets violence and nobody does much about it. Vigilantes surface everywhere. Violence becomes part of all of us.

According to El Nacional and the Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia, 66.5% of Venezuelans backs acts of executions by those affected by crime and 32% favor lynchings.

Sad, very sad, that this is what we are becoming as a country. I will not even blame anyone, why waste my time? This is what too many of the citizens of this country have become. The question is not whose fault it is, the question is whether we will do anything to stop it from deteriorating any further. And if we do, how long will it take to erase these beliefs from two thirds of the Venezuelan people.