Friday, December 23, 2005

Those who count for something, and those who don't. 

Recently a Venezuelan judge sentenced several murderers to jail for the shooting death of a Venezuelan women in Altamira Plaza. The women was part of a group protesting against the outcome of the referendum when several Chavistas who became involved in a scuffle opened fire with guns. This was a horrific act and the loss of Ms. Ron's life most regretable. This murderous violence was condemmed at the time by the government and its perpetrators will now be in jail for 11 years. While to people outside of Venezuela that may seem like a very short sentence it is what Venezuelan law provides for. But justice has been served, at least to some degree, in this case.

Contrast that with what happened to Chavez supporters who happened to be celebrating the Chavez victor on the other side of town in a poor area called Antimano. From Ultimas Noticias Wednesday, August 18, 2004 page 22:

2 Deaths in atacks on "No" celebrations

D'Yahana M. De Bastidas

One person dead and another wounded was teh result of a shooting that occurred in the "Callejon Caracas de Carapita", in Antimano, when unknown subjects shot at a car that was part of a celebration of the "No" victory.

The dead person was identified as Juan Carlos Paez Salazar, who was 20, and the wounded person as Angel Suarez Chaporro, who was 21, both with gun shots to the head.

"Everything seems to indicate that some people were in a red jeep behind the victims ahead of the victims jeep and that upon hearing the celebration they got down and with any words shot at them" said the police investigator Antonio Li Morales.

In another event, in the "UD4 de Cariuao" died Alfredo Andrade, who was 18. Li Morales said the death took place when shots were fired at a "No" caravan. "The young student died upon recieving a bullet to the head" he said.

To my knowledge the responsible authorites, the Metropolitan Police who at that time were controlled by an opposition mayor, never apprehended anyone. And don't bother looking for this news in any opposition media or web sites - they never mentioned it and never will. Truthfully, its probably not the fact that the three people who got shot in the head were Chavistas that prevents them from mentioning it. Rather its that they are, well, just regular Venezuelans, and therefore don't count for much of anything in the opposition's book. Kind of like a cockroach being stepped on - its life is not viewed as being worth anything.

But of course, if you are part of the lucky elite, those who shop at the San Ignacio, have multiple entry visas or even dual citizenship, got sent to US or British boarding schools, or in other words just belong to the select group known as "the beautiful people" then you count for something. Then your life matters and is worthy of attention if something unfortunate happens to it. If you instead come from a place like Antimano, then they can't waste ink or bandwidth even mentioning your demise. Such are the values of those who make up the Venezuelan opposition.


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