As Izarra laughs, this is the reality in Caracas’s morgue

August 13, 2010

As Izarra laughs (previous post) this is the gruesome picture at the Caracas morgue where 2177 bodies of victims of homicide have been admitted in the first six months of the year.

This number is triple of what it was in 1998 before Hugo Chavez rose to power. At the time, All of Venezuela had less than 9,000 deaths from homicides  a year, now Caracas alone is slated to have half as many, while the country is going towards 20,000-plus.

Are you still laughing Andres?

(And now they go after El Nacional for publishing the picture above, using children as an excuse. Who protects the children that get killed?)

And the World Women’s baseball tournament was suspended in Caracas, after a player from Hong Kong was shot while playing.

74 Responses to “As Izarra laughs, this is the reality in Caracas’s morgue”

  1. Beats by dre Says:

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  2. Kepler Says:

    I know Yper very well. It is a beautiful little city (35000 people) in the middle of nowhere.

    The whole old part was reconstructed from ashes as it was bombarded to the ground in WWI. Adolf Hitler was wounded close to the area then, but unfortunately survived.

    Strange landscape made of beautifully kept meadows with cows and flowers and then the graveyards. In Yper you can buy chocolate WWI helmets, which I consider completely morbid.

    There are always some buses with British and Canadian people visiting the area.

    It is a great place to initiate biking tours to the coast along the channels.

  3. marc in calgary Says:

    I linked islam to the Montréal murders by way of the culprit’s heritage, his parentage by way of his Algerian father, and the influence his father (a nominal muslim) played in twisting his views towards treating women as chattel, rather than people, or “people more pretty than us” 😉 . This is a commonality within much of the islamic way, it’s in every chapter of their holy books, methodology regarding how and when to beat their wives, how to keep them, control them … as virtual captives. It’s the antithesis of freedom. I’ve unfairly lambasted the Palestinians in some of my past commentaries, however the stated aims of their majorities religion do seem to dictate a political aim, rather than “bringing one a sense of closeness with God” … and this isn’t the forum to open up that can of worms!

    My opinion on the integration of immigrant communities into either Belgium or other western countries is that these communities need to integrate into our ways, not have us change to their ways. These communities have left their former areas for usually valid reasons, like religious/cultural oppression or tribal warfare. Why would anyone want these things brought into the west? After so many died in world wars to gain those freedoms? I don’t understand it. Nobody wants to fight that war again, but so many suspect it will be fought again, for similar freedoms…
    In the nationalities of the perpetrators of crime you’ve listed, these are largely groups that were raised within the islamic cultures, a culture that doesn’t give you the choice to integrate where they are in power. In many of the “no go” areas it is that the police do not go into these areas, that it is not safe for them either. A situation that mirrors some areas in Caracas, or in the worst of Rio, but when these areas start to form in Paris, or Los Angeles, and as they are in Marseilles, it’s time to shake the political correctness that allowed these monsters to enter.

    “Unless you are afraid of going to a country that is as dangerous as Canada.” jajaja, er, no I’m not personally afraid, it is those that are not equipped to fight, that I fear for. Most canadians are very soft in the middle, they have no idea of what it is like to be in a dangerous city. Prior to the 2nd world war, 1/3 of new entries into the army were too underweight to be considered, and the canadian army fought well “above its weight class”. Now, 1/3 of new entries into the army are rejected for being obese. I suspect the entire 1st world has this problem…
    There are many areas of europe I’d love to see, Belgium included, I’m not in a position to do so, financially. There is a rather large war memorial here in Calgary dedicated to the losses at Passchendaele/Ypres in Flanders.

  4. Kepler Says:

    Marc, I don’t want to go on that for ages. I picked up McVeigh out of a Wikipedia list of mass murderers in North America. I knew the name pretty well, but if you care to go through the whole list, you will see few were Islamic there but for the terrorists of 11 September. And anyway: you linked the murderer of Montreal to Islamism based on WHAT?
    Please, explain: based on WHAT?

    There is a big problem with Islamic terrorists, but you were linking the wrong murderer just because …please, explain us, please! I did not make it up, you wrote it. Everybody can read the comments himself.

    As for the no-go zones in Belgium: Belgium has a big Islamic problem and problems with integration. As for crime, the situation is fairly similar to that of Canada, as far as I have seen it in visits to Canada and as far as I see from stats. I have walked a lot through a LOT of Belgium and I know Brussels pretty well, from the poshest areas to the most squalid streets.

    The murder rate is a wee bit lower than in Canada.

    I haven’t traveled much through big Canadian cities, but I don’t think Brussels is more problematic with no go areas. Belgium is not France. I regularly go to what are the most dangerous areas in Brussels
    and so do a lot of people, specially for dinner as there are excellent restaurants there, also for the tea shops where they have wonderful patisserie. My girlfriend loves that patisserie. I live in a Flemish, very secure area outside Brussels, so it is not that I am used to those areas as living place, but I do go there. I have a couple of friends there. One is Flemish as Flemish goes, another is Moroccan born Belgian.

    If I go on Saturday evenings with my girlfriend, I usually take the underground as it is hard to park in the area because it is chock-a-block with cars of people going for dinner.

    There are a couple of streets where women and sometimes men get harassed by gangsters when it gets dark, although there is now a no tolerance policy which is making things better.
    That situation is crap but I have seen that in every city I have been where more than 500 000 people live (except perhaps Oslo when I was there ages ago, I have heard it has changed). We are talking about streets, not whole neighbourhoods.

    I used to walk through those streets very late at night going from Chinese evening classes to the underground back to my previous flat and I felt sometimes some guys were looking funny at me going with a laptop and fancier clothes than people there (as I went from job).

    I have never seen the no-go areas I have seen in the US, where I did feel a lot like “geez, get the hell out of here”. We don’t mention Venezuela, where there are places I have never been to.

    I know a couple of Belgian policemen and security people and I read a bit about that in magazines. The main heavy crime groups are actually Albanian, some Italian and some Moroccan plus sub-Saharan Africans, Serbian, Gypsies, some gangsters from different ethnic groups from the former USSR plus some Dutch and increasingly Latinos. Petty crime is more represented by Moroccan and Turks.

    As I said: there is a big problem with Islamic fundamentalism, the government needs to keep an eye on activities in mosques and other centres and streets.

    As for the no-go areas: feel free to come and I will show you around.

    Unless you are afraid of going to a country that is as dangerous as Canada.

  5. torres Says:


    “People can be very different and to point that out is not rude.” Agreed, but you are being rude. The words ridiculous, child mentality, populist, and narcissistic, come to mind.

    “You and I seem to have no view points in common even if we are both antiChavez.” I see a contradiction.

    “You feel just as bad debating me as I feel with you” Apparently not. I would truly like for you to participate by addressing my misunderstanding with explanations rather than put-downs, and by answering my questions. I can honestly say that I was nowhere near wishing for our exchanges to end.

    “but I do have good wishes for you as a person” Glad to hear. I would love to hear how you spend your daily cash distribution when you start getting it. I’m sure you would not only invest it more wisely than most, but that by doing so you would help others through advice and example how they should, too. It’s people like you that make be have even more faith that cash distribution would have results counter to the ones you predict.

    Pide tu Plata.

  6. pedro perez Says:

    What a shame. What a total jerk. Thats is the face of Chavez laughing at the pain and of the Venezuelan people.

  7. firepigette Says:


    People can be very different and to point that out is not rude.It is honest.Difference is not bad, but it does present a problem for good communication.

    You and I seem to have no view points in common even if we are both antiChavez.

    You feel just as bad debating me as I feel with you, so be honest,

    You might get your wish for a basic sueldo,and I won’t be happy about that, but I do have good wishes for you as a person.

  8. torres Says:

    “I don’t mean to be rude but debating with you is like what most people feel when they debate Chavistas.” lol

    “I am not accusing you of being a Chavista at all…” No, just of processing things so differently so as to render it pointless to debate with me. I wonder what kind of things you would say if you did mean to be rude. 🙂 Not really.

    “for me it is not about blame” Is it ever about blame when it’s your fault?

    “I wish you the best.” Then we should have cash distribution implemented in no time, cuz’ that would Lo Máximo!

  9. firepigette Says:


    I don’t think that either of us understands the other.That happens in life.There are some people who have a natural communication and others don’t.I have NOTHING against you as a person, I only feel that we are getting nowhere fast, and that it is better to drop it.I don’t have the personal time to refute and answer so many things.I wish I did, but I don’t.

    I don’t mean to be rude but debating with you is like what most people feel when they debate Chavistas.The Chavista seems to misunderstand everything one says and answer something else.I am not accusing you of being a Chavista at all, I just think that when people are as different as you and I are, there is not much point in debate.We are always talking past each other.Your arguments make no sense to me and mine make no sense to you….so what is the point?

    My mistake in addressing you first.I am sorry, but for me it is not about blame it is about doing the correct thing once we discover our incompatibility and not wasting each other’s time.

    I wish you the best.

  10. torres Says:

    firepigette, once again, you were the first to direct communication to me. I responded. Feel free to continue directing communications to me, I have not problem with your disagreeing with me. I will continue to address you when I think it is appropriate, and I will always try to express myself in a rational and courteous manner. Sorry, if I have failed at either of those.

    “it is getting us nowhere” That’s your doing, not mine. I would love for you to answer the questions and explain your position so that we could get somewhere.

    In this case, I’d love for you to explain your justifying the means with the end in this case, but not accepting that others justify the means with their end in the winning an election case. It would also be interesting to know what you would think if that graphic picture were posted up on a billboard by a highway. Or a schoolyard. Where does the slippery slope end? And if prostitution becomes a bigger issue in the nation, would you accept pornographic pictures on front pages to make the point of truth, as you called it?

    I would be very interested in your opinion on all those, but too bad you find these exchanges so boring…

  11. […] get on the El Nacional website, but “The Devil’s Excrement” blog reproduces it here – just be warned, it’s not a scene for the […]

  12. firepigette Says:


    Time to stop.It should be quite obvious to you, that you and I are worlds
    apart in our ideas and understanding.Unless something were to change we cannot communicate so better to stop trying.

    In the future we should be emit our opinions without directing them to one another.

    Agreed?I am honestly quite bored with the back and forth and it is getting us nowhere

  13. torres Says:

    firepigette, perhaps you don’t understand the expression, “the ends do not justify the means”. What it means is that an inproper action does not become valid just because the intended consequence is good.

    Case in point: “showing a picture of the truth” does not become a proper thing to do just because the end of “showing the truth” is a good one. Showing a picture of the truth must be judged to be proper or not, *independent* of the end. My position is that the picture should not be on a front page; there are other ways to get the truth out without having to “sacrifice” (your word) propriety, just because a “shock” factor seems useful.

    Your position surprises me considering that you are the one criticizing the use of populist promises. I agree. Populistic promises are not justified just to win an election. I thought, from that, that you understood that the end of winning an election did not justify any means that sacrificed any principle. Here, the end of exposing the truth should not have us sacrifice the principle of not shocking children, nor non consenting adults.

  14. Fabio Bertozzi Says:

    I am not quite sure what was the real intention of this picture in the newspaper. It has tons of interpretations, very polarizing. I imagine it is very shocking and maybe not good for children to see it. We Venezuelans are not used to see this type of things in the newspapaer. The revolution is showing its dark side. BTW, I visited this morgue when I was studying pharmacy back in 1990 and I remember only 2 bodies in there and the pic shows a total collapse. I would ask a question: is this surprising anyone in this forum?. In the middle of August 190 bodies have already visited Bello Monte based on Globovision TV news in aug 15…

  15. firepigette Says:


    think well

    the means( showing a picture of the truth)

    certainly justifies the end:

    showing the truth

  16. torres Says:

    “worrying about graphic pics now is like not seeing the forest for the trees.”

    Quite the contrary. Not worrying about the graphic may be putting our limited media outlets at risk, which is a huge portion of the forest.

    “We have to sacrifice something for the greater good in the end.” Nope, the end does *not* justify the means. The slippery slope to sacrificing principles is what is not seeing the forest from the trees.

  17. GWEH Says:

    I have been inside venezuelan morgues since a teenager and have seen stuff way more mind blowing and disturbing than the picture. In Maracaibo they had a pool full of floating bodies back in ’82.

  18. marc in calgary Says:

    What is the connection to Timothy McVeigh Kepler? pull a name out of a hat because he was raised as catholic? or is it that he was later agnostic? or believed only in “natural law”? you weren’t real clear on that one either…
    Adding commentary to other’s comments to try to try to slant the view to your view? Do you get away with this with your university crowd? Some people in the scientific community would refer to that as “changing data to suit your needs”.
    You haven’t really cleared that up yet, as to why you think it’s necessary to add commentary to what other’s have said. Is this ok with you? To just write fiction for others and then attack those same comments even though they are from your pen?
    Do you ever venture into a police station in Belgium (I’m not certain that’s where you are, I’m only guessing this) to talk to those police that have to provide security in the “no-go” areas? Apparently “no-go” areas are all the rage in France now too. What’s the connection? Are all these people in those areas muslim? or are they islamic? perhaps they only refer to them as in the British press as “asian”, or do the police simply not like people with varying shades of brown skin? Do they not want to offend those people with the idea of actually having to follow the rules? I’m only rallying against the idea of political correctness here, and look where it’s gotten people…

    Robert N. It’s true that islamist are my thing, there’s so much material to work with these days. Although Marc Lepine was not raised in a religious family, his father did show him the islamist way. That feminism is the cause to fight against. His suicide note makes mention of this.

    The photo is supposed to be disturbing, is it offensive? well it’s supposed to be.
    Would a photo of some rainbows and unicorns make more sense?

    No doubt that the Chavistas don’t want that offensive photo on the front page either.

  19. Eric Lavoie Says:

    I meant sorry not softly, stoopid apple iPod auto correct and keyboard.

  20. Eric Lavoie Says:

    Softy Bruni but the Journal de Mtl also showed that photo of the student in the front page, not just the gazette, they both got flak for it.

  21. firepigette Says:


    Under ideal circumstances( something None of us is living now) I would agree.I have a life long commitment to protecting children and to teaching…but worrying about graphic pics now is like not seeing the forest for the trees.We have to sacrifice something for the greater good in the end.

    The best way to protect children is to be a good parent.Shield them from too much TV and internet.Talk to them about good values, and most of all be an example to them for justice and love.Then they can internalize through us, and see happiness and health as generated from within and not from without.Children who grow up without good examples see happiness in terms of what the outside world can give them and or DO to them.

    We are living in a world of great media manipulation and a war between democratic forces, and authoritarianism.If we do not stand up constantly to confront it, the future our children will have is questionable.

    I they have that, they can put the rest in a context.

  22. torres Says:

    Rule of thumb:

    If it’s not a G rated picture (or at most a PG rated picture), it should not be on a front page, where it becomes difficult for a child *not* to see it. I would not want any child, even if it is their reality, to see pictures like this one. I do not even think any adult should have to see it unless it is by choice, by choosing to go to a certain page in a newspaper or magazine, or choosing to click on a link. Graphic images affect people differently, and the rules of thumb have to give priority to those who would be affected most extremely. The ends of the message do not justify the means of the image.

  23. firepigette Says:


    “Americans don’t care nearly as much as you think they do. ”

    Actually we do care maybe more than YOU think, but our caring is considered politically incorrect, and we have a certain amount of censorship going on with visuals.

    We are close to a formal war with Mexico and violence is skyrocketing on the border, but there are still Republicans who want cheap illegal labor for business and Democrats who want to stay in power VIA Hispanic votes.

    Then there are those of us who don’t give a hoot about being politically correct who would love to see graphic pictures in ALL the media but don’t have the means to do it.

    Pictures are worth a thousand words.

  24. […] a front page cover story with a photo depicting homicide victims in the morgue. You can see it, here.(beware: it is […]

  25. Robert in Mtl Says:

    Everything must be taken in context. While the sensitivity of Canadians would keep the picture out of Canadian newspapers, there are many newspapers around the world that regularly print such images without any backlash.

    I’m Canadian and while I find the picture disturbing, placed in context with the locale of Venezuela and the shameful cackling of Izarra, I fell it was necessary.

  26. Roberto N Says:

    You are correct, marc, in that you did not specify “arab”. I stand corrected.

    Your thing is with islamists/muslims.

    The same thing I said before applies. And this is in regards not only to your post above, but also in other posts at other times.

    You could have chosen any number of “counters” of people murdered worldwide, yet you point to murders by muslims, you identify the gunman as an “islamist”, when it is not germane to the story, nor is it even a fact.

    These biases are not germane either, to the discussion at hand,

    VIZ: One media outlet’s reaction to Mr. BIZARRA’s laughter.

    The worst part of this incident is that it shows the level at which debate is happening. No doubt El Nacional wanted to shake things up a bit and get the population talking about violence. Since many have become inured to it thanks to a daily dose of violence, perhaps it takes something like this to shake them up.

    I do think though, that in doing so they really stooped to Bizarra’s level.

  27. David Says:

    The sad truth is that there is little left of what use to be considered one of the promising societies in the latin american sphere. What Venezuela has turned into is SAD, when will the chavistas realize that this is the worst government the country has ever seen. No se puede tapar el sol con un dedo.

  28. Kepler Says:


    I just dislike people drawing conclusions on whole ethnic or religious groups based on the flimsiest hints, without looking at their own lot or groups.

    “Bruni I wished The Montréal Gazette had published photos of all the people in that classroom of students, not only the murdered women, but including photos of the men / cowards that walked out of the classroom, ordered out by the islamic gunman so he could commence his shooting of the innocents. Meanwhile in Canada, the media continues to dance around the identity of those ultimately responsible. Who has been saved by the silence?

    Only those motives of the political correct have been saved, and still we pay for this silence.”

    Islamic guy, Islamic guy…sure, that is not Muslim. Islamic guy. Where is the connection to Islamism? Explain.

  29. Kepler Says:


    I know the average situation in the US is far from good, but it is still much better than in most South American countries and definitely much so than Venezuela’s and that is what a lot of Venezuelans do not know.

    Anyway: any murder anywhere is a murder too much. Still, what we see in Venezuela is a tragedy.
    You see: humble people in Venezuela are not used to comparing things with the due perspective, not because they are less intelligent but because of their miserable education. But once you start to put things in perspective, at least some of them see it. I have discussed with plenty of them and it does work, at least if you get them alone without others threatening or the like.

    As RP said, a big problem is that a lot of them are numbed, completely numbed from social conditions that have been deteriorating for decades, increasingly so since 1998, and they accept the fate of their kids getting murdered as something normal…they do not know chances of that happening to the average Colombian is less than half, chances for the US American just a tenth, that of a Chilean and most European countries less than a 20th.

    As I said, the key value is the murder rate and the murder rate in the US is about 5-6, in Colombia about 36, in Brazil 16, in Chile less than 2, in Venezuela it is between 49 and 70 depending on the figures you use, probably going towards the latter.

    As I said: we can compare Venezuela with almost every country Chavistas nag about and Venezuela’s murder rate is just much worse. Only El Salvador and Honduras and perhaps Guatemala have murder rates as Venezuela.

    This is maths accessible even for Venezuelan kids. I think we need to explain the situation in those terms. I think that is better than to show pictures that shock us but are daily bread for the inhabitants of Charallave and El Valle or Southern Valencia or Tocuyito or Los Guayos.

  30. deananash Says:

    Kepler, in America, some 25-30,000 people are killed EACH YEAR via guns. The terrorists of 9/11 killed 3,000. Do the math.

    Americans don’t care nearly as much as you think they do. Perhaps if they saw the carnage on the front page of their newspapers more often, they might.

    And yes, a lot of the killed were violent criminals (gang-bangers, etc…), but a lot of them weren’t. Japan and England, with roughly half the populations, had but a dozen or so gun deaths each.

  31. Maria Says:

    Actually, the last paragraph of the original article describes the conditions of the morgue (pretty much of those of the Bello Monte morgue):

    “Condiciones infrahumanas

    La parturienta, quien es oriunda de la población de El Callao, ingresó al hospital de Guaiparo el pasado sábado en horas de la noche y durante la madrugada de ayer le realizaron una cesárea para sacarle el cadáver de su bebé del vientre. Es importante señalar que la contaminación, el mal olor y la basura reinan dentro de la morgue del Hospital Raúl Leoni de Guaiparo, pues en el piso de dicho centro lo único que se puede observar son sábanas sucias, sangre, basura y pozos de aguas contaminadas. Se pudo conocer que se encuentran varios cadáveres dentro del lugar que nunca han sido reclamados por sus familiares, éstos están aglomerados dentro las cavas, las cuales ya se encuentran deterioradas.”

  32. Maria Says:

    Here is the link to the original article:

    “Perro devoró parcialmente cadáver de bebé en morgue de Guaiparo”

  33. Maria Says:

    And on the subject…I posted this a while back.

    “La espantosa escena de un perro que devoró el cadáver de una recién nacida en el Hospital Raúl Leoni de Guaiparo, de San Félix, obligó al cuerpo directivo de este centro a manifestar un mea culpa a los familiares afectados y a la colectividad en general.,com_wrapper/Itemid,174/?id=155148

    One can imagine the state of this morgue when a dog can drag a body and eat it.

  34. firepigette Says:


    I have some distant family in Venezuela who are 5 brothers and sisters living in the same apartment in Baruta.All but one cooperate in sharing money and labor except for one.One of the sisters is very spoiled.She won’t cook, she won’t share space or money and she won’t be courteous.If challenged she slides into an aggressive frenzy spouting all manner of insults.

    All her life people tip- toed around her giving into her selfish desires as she got worse by the day.When their mother died all continued to cave into the selfish girl’s whims because if they didn’t, she would go into a foaming frenzy.

    The girl with the frenzies learned that she could represent the principle of injustice and others would tolerate her.

    The principle of injustice goes both ways.It is the person who dominates through frenzies that is half the problem, and it is those who tolerate them that are the other half.

  35. Maria Says:

    marc in calgary,

    I know it is none of my business but a word of advice…stay away from topics involving criticism of Muslims, Europeans and God forbids, Palestinians. The latter will send Kepler into frenzy.

  36. marc in calgary Says:

    Kepler, that’s awesome that you can speak for Roberto N…
    And what to make of you adding in “gays and anyone I deem a lefty” seriously adding that to my list of prejudices too? You are doing the same as Robert N did above, adding commentary to my comments, to suit your purposes?
    Is that normal behavior? to lump your bias into another’s when you read something not pleasing to you? as I said to Robert N,
    “and it’s a good idea to not add or edit others commentary to suit your purposes.”

    Although, I am spotting a pattern in your commentary.

  37. RF Says:

    I’m write up something horrid but true. I am not Venezuelan but I lived in Caracas from 2002 to 2010. Two or three times a week and especially every monday morning Globovisión would interview the parents,or siblings, or spouses, or children, of some of the unfortunate who had been murdered over the weekend in the barrios. What impressed me the most and quite frankly horrified me was that in 80% of the cases, the people being interviewed had stable voices, dry eyes and indifferent body language, though their words might in some cases denote frustration or sometimes anger. No attachment, however, was visible. And the victims had been dead less than 48 hours. Watch this yourselves. It’s absolutely shocking. But no one other than me seemed to notice, though I asked friends around me. No one had noticed this phenomenon. It’s normal behavior in Venezuela. That includes mothers and fathers. I recall a case of a man whose 7 year old child had been killed the day before by a gang that invaded a home to kill everybody inside. He said his son had been shot and had ended up on the curb side like a dog. Just like that. Like a dog. No tears. No emotion. The word in spanish is indolencia criminal. Maybe he had never seen his son, maybe he was one of those typical Venezuelan males who abandon their children. But mothers also have this attitude, quite frequently. And then it’s.. it’s…I have no words to describe what I feel. Next time you watch one of these interviews on TV, remember my words.

  38. Kepler Says:

    No, Marc, Robert mixed up Arabs for Muslims.
    Other than that, his statement is correct about your prejudices.
    I would add your prejudices regarding gays and anyone you deem a lefty.

  39. marc in calgary Says:

    Thanks for the lesson Bruni.

    Roberto N. nowhere did I mention “arab” I haven’t a prejudice or bias with the arab people as a race… and it’s a good idea to not add or edit others commentary to suit your purposes.

  40. Kepler Says:

    Whatever that picture, I insist: let’s focus on sending messages to the uninformed, ignorant Venezuelans who still vote for Chávez, who don’t read El Nacional (most El Nacional readers are anyway on our side),
    who have no clue about what is really going on outside Venezuela.

    They need better references about how things have got worse and how they have got much worse than almost anywhere else.

    They just don’t know how much safer it is in the States (on average), in Chile, in Italy, in Norway.

    At this moment most people who vote for Chávez have never been abroad. Only the honchos, who have accounts in Miami or Switzerland, in Andorra or Luxembourg, do know how safe it is abroad but they also know how much they profit from the Chavista plundering.

  41. Kolya Says:

    It is precisely because El Nacional is not in the habit of printing gruesome pictures that this photo had such an impact. Sometimes it is salutary to make a one time exception to a good rule. If El Nacional does not make a gory habit of it, then it did the right thing by printing this picture.

    The photo impressed because of the immediacy of the tragedy: lifeless bodies of persons killed at their prime, bodies of men who under normal circumstances had many years of healthy life ahead of them.

  42. JAU Says:

    If you are discussing if publishing a picture is right or wrong or in good or bad taste, I have got a message for you: You are thinking like a Chavista. Instead of focusing on the REAL problems (homicides, all out crime, overwhelmed morgue, extremely high % of unsolved crimes, no justice, a country in chaos, etc.) you are focusing on the message and the messenger.

    If you are shocked by the picture then SORRY but that picture shows the REALITY of Venezuela and that is why El Nacional is already in trouble with the Chavistas, because, once again, it showed the reality of what is going on in Venezuela, something different than the Mar de felicidad that they want to sell us.

    What is disheartening is that with Chavez, that reality is only going to get much WORSE.

  43. firepigette Says:

    The only thing that can beat Chavismo is the brutal, honest, and relentless exposition of the truth.

    Will it be in good taste,and respectful?


    Those who are worrying about offending people with the truth should worry more about offending people with lies( Chavismo).

  44. Roberto N Says:

    Thank you, Kepler, for pointing out the obvious in “marc from calgary’s” post.

    marc, you can drop your obvious prejudice towards arabs in this forum, save it for somewhere else, please. You sound just like any other chavista.

  45. bruni Says:

    To Marc, just another point. Caporal Lortie had the idea of getting into the National Assembly seeing the pictures of the army man that gave a coup d’état in Spain in..1981?

    So you got Spain=>Lortie=>Lepine=>Concordia=>Columbine=>Dawson=>Virginia Tech

    The more publicized these events are, the more they give ideas to the disturbed.

  46. metodex Says:

    well you can’t deny the picture is a little morbid and crude.But how the hell else are you supposed to publish that.Internet? please.
    Its quite amazing that they published the picture.
    It takes sacrifice, and i bet el nacional won’t last the rest of the year,or less than 3 months of 2011. And in my opinion, sorry kids, but thats where you live in. look away now.

  47. Kepler Says:

    Thanks, Bruni, for explaining that.

    Guys, don’t you see? That picture is not only the norm in Venezuela but the vast majority of Venezuelans are used to that kind of picture. You are shocked, I am shocked, but the ones who need to wake up won’t get shocked by such pictures, they are the ones visiting those morgues most of the time and finding such corpses in their streets and reading for decades Crónica Policial. For them it is almost like the weather.
    And they are not used to looking at the bigger picture because they just see the here and there.

    And that is what we have to change.

    The really DIFFERENT thing in Venezuela and perhaps in other places
    in America would be to put it in visual context.

    I am talking about this:

    I am talking about this:

    (preferably the last one with reference to Venezuela having a fraction of Germany’s population)

    Venezuelans of every extraction, no matter whether they finished primary school or not, would understand such graphs.

    Unfortunately it seems Venezuelan newspaper for some extraterrestrial reason cannot print graphs.

  48. bruni Says:

    Marc, you are mistaken and this is OT.

    The guys in the classroom were not guilty. Lepine entered the classroom and separated the women from the men and asked the men to leave. Everybody thought it was a joke of the end of the semester (the semester before we had the school full of pseudo-smoke…and before that we had a band going around the school). They were 20-22 year old..what would you have done (now or at that age?) Come on! You cannot really think that those young students that walked out of the classroom were guilty!

    The other point is that Lepine was not an islamist. His abusive father was arab yes, but he either died or the family separated. His mom is a french canadian nurse and the boy grew up with a french canadian name and background.

    Lepine got the idea of the shooting from Caporal Lortie who a few years before entered the national assembly with the intent of shooting the deputies (he killed two guards). At that time there was a lot of publicity because he was able to be talked out of it by an old army general …

    Two points: that publicity give bad ideas to people that are already disturbed and that the only ones that can stop or talked with a disturbed shooter are people with special training.

    Now about the cafeteria picture. That is the cafeteria where everybody in the school eats every day. It was shocking and tasteless to have taken a picture of the corpse and put in front page. It does not do any good to anybody. It was exploiting a tragedy from The Gazette. I used to read The Gazette. I stopped there.

    The same here with the picture of El Nacional. It does not good to anybody and exploits a tragedy.

  49. megaescualidus Says:


    Yes, showing a photo with unidentified corpses (their faces blurred) is poor taste. However, as gruesome as the picture is, Venezuela’s reality is that violence levels (homicides) are comparable to war zone casualty levels (it’s been said over and over). A secondary fact (also said over and over) is that this morgue, and any other morgue are overwhelmed by the number of “arrivals”. This gruesome picture shows a reality, and illustrates government officials ineptitude, and indolence. This picture, whether we want to accept it or not, is Venezuela (unfortunately).

  50. loroferoz Says:

    “I have the same impression with this picture. The dignity of the death has been violated twice: once by the horrible conditions in which the corpses are kept and next by exposing them shamelessly to the public in the first page of a major circulation newspaper.”

    Maybe if the corpses of the dead were kept in dignified conditions, the murder rate were a sixth of what it is, and the resolution percentage for murders were not 10% but like 80%…

    The photograph would be pointless and El Nacional would be performing an exercise of morbid bad taste for the sake of it and it would be right to clamor not to see these things published needlessly.

    But the situation is obscene in itself. It must be shown as it is.

    We could go on and on about the dignity of war dead, or concentration camp dead, or dead whales, or dead seals. But only reality as it is has been effective in shocking. Those directly responsible and those who can live with the situation and those who shut up and those want to talk about the weather when asked about the matter.

  51. ErneX Says:

    That picture was a necessary response to Izarra’s demented laughing, kudos to El Nacional for having the balls to publish that thing on the cover.

  52. firepigette Says:


    “Because you are giving them a scape route, allowing them to turn the argument upside down. ”

    Chavismo does not need us to give them excuses or escape routes.The turn EVERYTHING upside down.They always have the lack of morals and ‘genius’ to create chaos, and illusions.

    The fact that Chavismo will continually look for reasons to put us down, does not make it good for us to comply with them.

    It is hard to face this kind of menace and many battles will be SEEMINGLY “lost”, and it is difficult, but it is imperative that we ALWAYS stand for truth in the face of inferior reason , sociopathic lies,and bullying.

    Standing for truth in the face of accusation will guide us and build strength.Ultimately this is the only answer.

  53. Kepler Says:


    I am not sure about the effect of showing those pictures over and over again.
    You know, when I was a student in Venezuela I would take the bus as still many people do to get to Caracas. A guy would step in and start to sell a very disgusting magazine: Crónica policial. There were lots of nasty pictures, I always tried to look to the other side of the bus, but one ended up looking at one or two of the pictures even if it was at the time of standing up or turning for a second to the person at the side.

    That was when the murder rate in Venezuela was under 19 murders per 100 000. People, specially those people, were used to that crap, they were looking at the pictures rather in a morbid way or in an indifferent way already.
    What those people did not know, what the vast majority of Venezuelans do not know, is the how the situation they perceive, the only one Venezuelans perceive, NOW AND HERE, compares to other situations THEN or ELSEWHERE.

    That is what we have to show. Although the guy from the NGO did his best I think we should insist in trying to show the references that count.
    I am tired, tired, tired of hearing statistics of Caracas versus another city anywhere else or about Venezuela now.
    We need to show the murder stats about Venezuela NOW and BACK THEN and Venezuela now (Venezuela as a whole) and the rest of the world.
    Count pears with pears.
    Of course, the state is going to deny stuff.
    What do we do? We challenge the regime publicly, as publicly as possible to tell everyone how many people get murdered now, how many in 2009, how many in 2008, etc.

    We have the numbers until 2002. We want them to give us the numbers now.
    They won’t. We tell that to the people. We show how the numbers have gone up. We show them that although there is Ciudad Juarez, there are in Colombia and Sao Paulo, the national situation in Venezuela is worse
    and it has got worse.

    People have no education but they are not stupid. You can explain in a simple page what a rate is and why the government is lying.
    And when people like that NGO goes to the air, he should have prepared a 2 minute message to put that in perspective, to say how the government stopped sending the stats to UN in 2002 and how still, by looking at state reports from CICPC we know there are many more murders now.

    And we should go on challenging the regime to have an open live debate with an international moderator to debate that thing and many more.

    The regime will refuse to have such a debate. It does not matter at all. We tell Venezuelans how the regime is a bunch of cowards who do not want to debate.

  54. Lucia Astier Says:

    I do think there is a problem about publishing a shocking but (dated) picture like this in a daily national newspaper in the present climate -whether it is from a 9 months ago ( as el Nacional claims) or from 4 years ago ( as the government honchos claim). Because you are giving them a scape route, allowing them to turn the argument upside down. We are witnessing how the discussion has now turned into media issues – their “media pornography speak” or a question of taste (whether it should or shouldn’t have been published)- rather the issues of violence at source. In the end Izarrita managed to get away with not answering anything by making his little spectacle and now el Nacional adds a bit more into this meaningless debate. The one thing that both manage is to not address the issue of daily violence in a way that is relevant to an ordinary voter/citizen.
    I must say of all this talk, what really shocked me was the news of the barrio children on the bus held up ( by other children) on the way to their special day out at the beach. There is a mention in the report that some of the children pee their pants of sheer terror, while the teen mugs shouted “pray louder”!
    Cute wouldn’t you say?

  55. firepigette Says:


    In English in the world does not mean in the whole world.Keep it simple

  56. Kepler Says:


    I agree to show the pictures of the brutality of the Taliban.

    Now, Firepigette,

    The whole world? Are you in for showing it all? Or just the ones you select?

    You know, IN THE WORLD.

  57. firepigette Says:

    There certainly seems to be a lot of visual censorship going on IN THE WORLD.This can work to our detriment , especially when there are so many lies circulating, denials, disbelief, blind ideology and phony statistics.We need real images.

    In a tragedy of this magnitude photographs help to humanize the dead.We need the evidence.

  58. Deanna Says:

    Once in a while a picture might shock an indifferent population into reacting. I agree with El Nacional publishing this picture and I believe that it was their responsibility to do so since the government and its officials seem to think that the security situation in the country is a big joke. Yes, it’s very graphic, but it brings the point home, just as the picture of the Aisha (with her nose and ears cut off), which was shown on the cover of Time magazine, finally gives evidence of the cruelty of the Taliban. If I were a relative of one of the victims in the picture, I would be grateful that the truth was finally being shown and that these victims are just not statistics, but human beings.

  59. Kepler Says:


    Please, read this:

    If you list the amount of murderers of women in the US and Canada together with supposed or real religion they “professed”, I wonder…oh, never mind…you are one for spotting patterns.

  60. island canuck Says:

    You have to consider the publication of this photo also in the context of the Venezuelan culture.

    One of the most popular newspapers here in Margarita is Diario Caribazo. The joke here is that all the malandros check it out each morning to see which of their friends made it through the night.

    Every morning are GRAPHIC photos that would not be tolerated in most other countries.

    This morning’s issue is no exception. Please do not click on the link if you have a sensitive stomach.

    In this context the El National photo is not all that disturbing. I would assume that Margarita is not the only are where this type of newspaper exists.

    So, why does the government suddenly wake up to this particular photo. Not because it’s GRAPHIC. But because it reflects on the political shortcomings of Chavismo just before an election. It wouldn’t surprise me if this isn’t a coordinated effort of the part of the opposition to shake some trees. If so, I salute them.

    If the government actually does try to prosecute El National it will blow up in their face.

  61. marc in calgary Says:

    Bruni I wished The Montréal Gazette had published photos of all the people in that classroom of students, not only the murdered women, but including photos of the men / cowards that walked out of the classroom, ordered out by the islamic gunman so he could commence his shooting of the innocents. Meanwhile in Canada, the media continues to dance around the identity of those ultimately responsible. Who has been saved by the silence?

    Only those motives of the political correct have been saved, and still we pay for this silence.
    The silence, protects the living guilty, the dead are already dead.

  62. bruni Says:

    I remember back in 1989 when the engineer girls where killed here in Montreal, The Gazette published a picture of one of them in the cafeteria, a beautiful young woman with long hair sitting in a cafeteria chair just being shot in the heart.She looked like an inanimated doll. It was a disturbing reality but the picture was in very bad taste. At the time, the newspaper was really criticized for publishing it.

    I have the same impression with this picture. The dignity of the death has been violated twice: once by the horrible conditions in which the corpses are kept and next by exposing them shamelessly to the public in the first page of a major circulation newspaper.

    I think El Nacional made a great mistake publishing that picture. It is counterproductive and it would swing public opinion against them. What was the point? That Izarra was stupidly laughing at a reality that everybody knows it exists? What was the need for El Nacional to violate the dignity of those people?

  63. marc in calgary Says:

    I don’t think that another characterless article quoting somewhat abstract numbers on page 5 really gets the attention to the numbers this problem needs.
    That the gov’t of Venezuela hasn’t done anything concrete to address this, points to the need of the media to bring it to the attention of the authorities. Perhaps an ever growing number printed in the uppermost right hand corner with the tally of those murdered so far this year would be something, like the number of those murdered worldwide by muslims as printed at might bring attention to the problem. Everyday a new number, always increasing. A graphical view with each year showing an increase in blood?

    No doubt that some in gov’t will continue to laugh, but that shaming has brought the fury of Chavismo down upon el Nacional shows that the “in your face” attitude works. I’m not shocked by the photo, only the laughter of the government bothers me.

    The government could *actually* do something about it, as opposed to shooting the messenger.

  64. gomezcal Says:

    J.D. : I don’t put disrespect of the dead above disrespect for life itself; I’m not saying that “El Nacional” is in any way worse than the government. I rather say it has put itself on the same level of disrespect, as regards its responsibility as medium. Of course, “El Nacional” is not responsible of the murders; it’s not its job to stop them, it’s the government’s.
    And also to the rest of commenters: how would you feel if any of the corpses in the picture were of a relative of yours? Would you still feel it was right to publish it? Let’s face it: these are poor, anonymous people; perhaps their, and their relatives’ dignity matter less than ours, and can be sacrificed to the needs of political strategy.
    Finally, perhaps it’s too early to judge the impact of this affair on public opinion; I fear the worst, but I hope I’ll be proved wrong.

  65. loroferoz Says:

    Yes, the photo is shocking. Maybe it’s in poor taste. But it is reality as is.

    Our country and in our biggest morgue. Whoever is responsible for this and expresses outrage is an hypocrite and negligently criminal.

    It is something akin to people who think they can support (and stomach) modern war and then are deeply shocked that somebody publishes the nasty results of modern weaponry on human bodies.

    Now our “government” has spouted a lot about class warfare. It has armed irregulars and urban guerrillas with weapons of war. It has been downright negligent with the criminal system and with overt displays of gangland behavior on the streets.

    How can they pretend to be shocked by their policies when the nation was already violent when they took over?

    You can understand that the relatives would not like it that precisely their loved ones appear there. But it’s just that this had to be outed (and stopped, if possible). El Nacional selected this photo.

  66. moctavio Says:

    I thought long and hard about whether I would post this grotesque picture. In the end I did, because when all the destruction, lack of scruples and disregard for hum life and rights, cant’ be fought because of the indolence of the authorities, you have to resort to more direct, graphic, albeit ugly pictures. This is not playing dirty, this is trying to save may be one life with a picture. This is trying to wake up the sensibility of those that collaborate with Chavez and his Government. Or those that silently obey because they are in fear. Izarra’s spectacle showed many in Government don’t care, the picture shows the dramatic scale of the total disregard for human life. These are human beings, not statistics. The picture proves it.

  67. Anon Says:

    A picture is worth 20000 dead. I totally agree with showing the actual bodies. A number is just a number; a corpse is more compelling. Laugh at that photo Izarra, you asshole.

  68. john doe Says:


    Dont you think that it is not a disrespectful photo what matters but the lack of respect for life existing in this country?….. One thing is to disagree about the use of this kind of photos, and other is to mention disrespect as the main issue above life itself… I assume you are a shallow moralist that thinks that the guys in the photos better to say, their relatives, are deeply concerned for El Nacional’s big picture, much more than the love ones killed…
    Does this photo give any help? YES, by the numbers of killings, at least it remind us that anyone could be on those dirty gurneys…and It is time to do something…

  69. Gerry Says:

    Although I agree with what was attempted by publishing the photo, I must say, in the strongest possible terms, it was in very, very poor taste.
    It does not however rise to the level of being a criminal act.
    In trying to make a crime of this, the government will bring it more to everyone’s attention. (I assume they would sooner have it forgotten).
    I reserve judgment on the efficacy of this maneuver even though I’m sure it was born from the outrage generated by the preceding laughter.

    The goodness of God has never been at issue.
    That is up to man to make it a reality is the definition of humanity.

    Are we human here?

  70. gomezcal Says:

    I don’t see how publishing this picture might help the victims or anyone trying to contribute solutions. If we criticize Chavez’s disrespect of Bolivar’s remains, what to say about El Nacional’s disrespect for the dead people in their picture, even if they blurred their faces? What was the editor thinking? He just gave the Government another excuse to trash the opposition press, and the opposition as a whole.

  71. moctavio Says:

    Thanks, adding it to the post

  72. island canuck Says:


    They’ve just gone after El National for the publication of this photo.

    Make your own decisions.

  73. island canuck Says:

    Wow, Pretty disturbing picture.

    Not the “CSI” image one has of the world to the north.

    I guess things like refrigeration or autopsies are not even considered unless it’s a PSUV biggy or big wig.

    In know the solution rate for murders right now is only about 10% but one wonders even how they manage that.

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