Armed Pro-Govt Militias Roil Venezuela Protests 1

 In this photo taken on Friday, March 14, 2014. Boys that play in a minor league baseball team "Atleticos de Crimon" mourn their coach, Guillermo Sanchez after his funeral grave in in Valencia, Venezuela. The people of the poor district of La Isabelica were made to pay for taking to the streets in anti-government protests. More than a dozen masked men on motorcycles roared through, shooting up a barricade and killing a university student and a 42-year-old man painting his house. Fernando Llano / AP Photo


In this photo taken on Friday, March 14, 2014. Boys that play in a minor league baseball team “Atleticos de Crimon” mourn their coach, Guillermo Sanchez after his funeral grave in in Valencia, Venezuela. The people of the poor district of La Isabelica were made to pay for taking to the streets in anti-government protests. More than a dozen masked men on motorcycles roared through, shooting up a barricade and killing a university student and a 42-year-old man painting his house. Fernando Llano / AP Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Fabiola Sanchez & Frank Bajak, Associated Press

VALENCIA, Venezuela — The masked gunmen emerged from a group of several dozen motorcycle-mounted government loyalists who were attempting to dismantle a barricade in La Isabelica, a working-class district of Valencia that has been a center of unrest since nationwide protests broke out last month.

The barricades’ defenders had been hurling rocks, sticks and other objects at the attackers, who included perhaps a dozen armed men, witnesses told The Associated Press.

Lisandro Barazarte, a photographer with the local newspaper, Notitarde, caught images of several of the men shooting into the crowd while steadying their firearms on their palms.

“They were practiced shooters,” Barazarte said. “More were armed, but didn’t fire.”

When it was over, two La Isabelica men were dead: a 22-year-old student, Jesus Enrique Acosta, and a little league baseball coach, Guillermo Sanchez. Witnesses told the AP the first was shot in the head, the second in the back. They said neither was at the barricades when he was killed.

Similar shootings across Venezuela by gunmen allied with the socialist-led government have claimed at least seven lives and left more than 30 people wounded since the anti-government protests began in mid-February.

President Nicolas Maduro has done nothing to publicly discourage the violence by armed pro-government militants, loosely known as “colectivos,” which are also blamed for scores more cases of beatings and intimidation in multiple cities. That includes a March 19 incursion into the architecture academy at the Central University of Venezuela in the capital in which some 40 masked men and women identifying themselves as government defenders bloodied at least a dozen students.

In fact, since the protests began, Maduro and his vice president have each welcomed pro-government “motorizados,” or motorcyclists, to separate events at the presidential palace — a Feb. 24 rally and a “peace conference” on March 13.

Read more here: Armed Pro-Govt Militias Roil Venezuela Protests   

 

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One comment

  1. The Cuban Intelligence is behind all those pro-military groups in Venezuela,the Cubans are actively participating as well as organizing the repression in Venezuela,Ramiro Valdez,Raciel Ceballos,the General Andoyo Valdez and the General Alejandro Ronda Marrero are present there to make sure Maduro’s government is properly guided to impede democracy in Venezuela.

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