Last week, the city of Ocumare del Tuy (southern Miranda State) became the latest focal point in the violence that affects Venezuela.
It all started when the CICPC (investigative police) carried out a raid and killed three members of a important criminal gang of the area known as “Los Orejones”. Hours later, all activity in the city was halted by a public protest in response to this incident. Relatives of the deceased accused the CICPC of killing the three men in their sleep.
One of the victims, 32-year old Fernando José Martínez Terán (a.k.a. Fernandito) was a member of the government-promoted Peace and Life Movement, which I wrote about in a recent post. According to the CICPC, he was still involved in robberies and murders.
But that was just the beginning, as Los Orejones decided to strike back.
The band launched a full attack against a post of the Tomas Lander Municipal Police. Thanks to their superior firepower, they easily overwhelmed the local officers and wounded three of them, including Polilander’s director. After four hours and the assistance of National Guard, the firefight was over. But Los Orejones didn’t stop there: Through messages on the Internet, the gang has promised revenge and has challenged the militarization of the town which came after the incident. Days later, they attacked a Miranda State Police post with Molotov cocktails.
The incident has thrust the Peace and Life Movement’s activities into the spotlight. The case of Fernandito isn’t the first, and some in the opposition are asking questions about the true nature of the movement. After all, the Movement is almost a defacto Vice-Ministry. During a TV interview last year, the head of the Peace and Life Movement (and Interior Vice-Minister) Jose Vicente Rangel Avalos acknowleged that they have met with at least 280 criminal gangs of Miranda State, something that brings plenty of questions to mind…
As these series of incidents came and went, the crime situation in Ocumare del Tuy remains, and the attention will shift to the new Pacification Plan promoted by the government. Its implementation, however, has been postponed in order to allow for more consultations.
8 thoughts on “Peace and life in Ocumare del Tuy”
Let’s check the number of law enforcement agencies in Venezuela for some reflection.
There’s SEBIN(former DISIP), the quasi-intelligence-crime fighting agency, there’s CICPC, which is charged with collecting and maintaining evidences, there’s the National Guard goon squads, there’s the CPNB whose duties or function no one is really clear about, and finally, there are the state/municipal/metropolitan police officers, who are the most corrupt, ignorant and violent.
So many police agencies, so little crimefighting done…
Also the whole “Movimiento por la paz y la vida” thing reminds me of the gang truce in El Salvador brokered by the politicians and religious people there. That doesn’t seem to be working well either.
The goverment says they know who and where the gangs are, and It seems plausible considering how quickly some high profile cases get solved. So, why don’t they strike down on them? why let them continue on their violent rampage? What exactly was the agreement they reached at these meetings… For me, something along the lines of, do your “job”, dont get caught, only target low profile citizens and defend the revolution when the time comes.
Nailed it. They aren’t effective because they don’t want to.
It strikes me as odd that people still find surprising that there is not a serious effort to solve the crime issue.
Crime is a tool, they can barely control it as you can see, but nevertheless, a very effective tool for oppresion,to keep the curfew active everyday, to keep citizens on the edge (those that don’t get used to it),to intimidate and dissolve protests, and most important, to defend the revolution on the streets if it comes to open confrontation (never gonna happen).
I’ve been saying for years that the government is working for the thug mafias, and everytime people just assumes it is a “figure of speech”. Well, it is not a fucking “figure of speech”, it is quite literally true
Follow in twitter @lagranciudad and check website lagranciudad.net for local news of Valles del Tuy. Most if not all Alcaldes in this region are from PSUV (Government)
Is the name of this “movement” a deliberate oxymoron?
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