Repression with a Brazilian scent

One of the constant images of the current wave of protests has been the overwhelming and excessive use of tear gas by the National Guard and other security forces against demostrators. You might ask where all those cannisters come from: Russia? After all we have spent a lot of money buying them military stuff. Maybe… China? Or even in an ironic twist of fate, they come from the good ol’ U.S. of A?

Nope. The answer is that most of the tear gas recently used is coming from our next-door neighbor, Brazil.

This extended report from Ultimas Noticias’ Lisseth Boon & Cristina González (including the video above) indicates that the Venezuelan government bought 143 tons of tear gas to Brazilian company Condor Tecnologias Não-Letais between 2008 and 2011, at a cost of $6,5 million. The interesting thing that none of this appereared in the budgets of either the Defense Ministry or the Interior Ministry. (There was no public tender, but that almost goes without saying.)

The report also shows inconsistencies between the Venezuelan and Brazilian data regarding the acquisition of riot control materials: Venezuelan statistics said that just 2,1 million dollars were spent between 2002 and 2008, but its Brazilian counterpart puts the final cost at 9,9 million. A difference of 7,8 million. This is either the first-ever case of underinvoicing in the CADIVI era, or because part of the bill was paid by the secret off-budget slushfund known as FONDEN. You might have read about it before.

24 thoughts on “Repression with a Brazilian scent

  1. I love it the Development Fund Fonden, buying riot equipment to repress. Gives a new sense to the word “development”


    • Fonden has been repeatedly used to buy Russian weapons. It was also used to buy 49% of a Russian bank that is primarily used for transactions to buy more Russian weapons.
      Venezuela is the main importer of weapons in South America, spending more in the import of weapons than Brazil.


        • Meant to add except in the Orwellian sense: Peace through War. Development through Bombs. Growth through Destruction.


          • Ahhh, language and its manipulation. A whole chapter could be devoted to this. Here another: Fascism among Unarmed Civilians.


  2. Well, countries can sell tear gas to each other. Between 2008 and 2011 Venezuela was seen as a fairly “normal” country, Air Canada even used to fly there back then. What is wrong is to sell tear gas to Venezuela now, when Maduro is clearly violating human rights and killing civilians.

    And let’s not forget that the Germans are selling 80 ton of anti-riot gear to Maduro as we speak, and that Venezuela is buying all that with American money (the US is the largest buyer of Venezuelan oil in the world). So, let’s stop painting Brazil as the only country which is helping the fascists in Venezuela, when it is clearly not.


    • The German riot gear is solid but those Chinese tanks have been the laughingstock of these protests. Besides the common mechanical failures and the fact that the tires can be easily punctured, it appears that the A/C system is exposed from above so it can be disabled, clogged and even filled up with smoke by someone from a safe location, which forces the guards to leave it promptly.

      Lo barato sale caro.


    • KA: your link does not confirm cargo from Munich. Unless you have supporting documentation, please refrain from inventions.


      • Syd, yes it does. Watch the video:


        “La periodista Idania Chirinos, ancla del canal de noticias NTN24 recibió una denuncia del envío de 80.000 kilos de material antimotines presuntamente por orden del gobierno venezolano a través de una empresa privada.

        El equipo del canal constató que la empresa contratada es Skylease, dedicada a aviones de carga, y el vuelo sería el KYE-503, saliendo de Munich, Alemania, con destino a Caracas, Venezuela, con las siglas N9O1AR 747-400.

        El vuelo tendría salida el 21 de marzo a las 5 de la tarde”



        • This is your proof, KA? Are you for real? This blog welcomes commenters who more or less have a good comprehension of what goes on, in or related to Venezuela. With that in mind, you supply two links to videos, but appear not to have heard the audio to the end, or don’t understand Spanish, or worse.

          Allow me to do your homework:

          Independent reporter: “Is there any way to find out what’s on that plane?”
          Skylease (mumbling until it clarifies): “No”.

          Separately, Idania Chirinos states at the end of the video:
          “lo que no pudimos verificar … la empresa no nos da la carga.”

          You have no corroborating information that reveals the cargo, contrary to your earlier claim. Therefore, case closed until further notice.


        • Coloco aquí algo que encontré en Facebook (grupo de Berlín). Ni me molesté a averiguar más porque
          sencillamente la cosa me suena demasiado rara y no tengo el tiempo.

          El avión que llegó desde Alemania a Caracas el viernes 21 de marzo no llevaba equipo antimotín, como había sido reportado por NTN24. La aduana alemana controló la carga y no encontraba equipo antimotín. Aquí la comunicación de la embajada alemana en Caracas al respecto:

          Antwort der Deutschen Botschaft in Caracas,


          “Sehr geehrter Herr Scholz,

          herzlichen Dank für Ihre Anfrage.

          Seit dem 19. März 2014 kursieren Medienberichte über ein angeblich mit
          Material zur Aufstandsbekämpfung beladenes Frachtflugzeug, das am 21.
          März von München nach Caracas fliegen soll. Diese Medienberichte sind
          nicht korrekt. Der deutsche Zoll hat die Ladung kontrolliert. In dem
          Flugzeug befinden sich keine Materialien zur Aufstandsbekämpfung.

          Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

          Moritz Jacobshage

          Moritz Jacobshagen

          Erster Sekretär

          Botschaft der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
          Caracas / Venezuela”


          • That’s a rather specific statement. It can be phrased as “There were no counterinsurgency materials in the cargo plane that flew from Munich to Caracas on March 21st”.

            There might be related items, though, like law enforcement materials, riot control materials, etc. Or there might be another detail that doesn’t match in that carefully worded statement.

            I think there’s not enough information to call it either way.


  3. This reminds me of tear gas canisters exports by South Korea used to suppress demonstrations and revolts in Bahrain and Turkey.

    In the case of Bahrain, public pressure from international and local NGOs forced our country to stop exporting tear gas to that country( and Turkey, on the other hand, is an important partner and we can’t let our relations with the Turks go sour.

    The current crisis in Venezuela isn’t being publicized as much the crisis in Bahrain, and therefore we can expect those human rights hypocrites from Amnesty International or HRW to remain silent regarding weapons(both lethal and “non-lethal”) exports to that country.


  4. Completely off topic but I listened to Eva Golinger interview today. According to her, Venezuela has complete freedom of the press and communications. She claims Venezuela is one of the highest users of Twitter in the world and this is the proof. TTwitter is more widlely used due to communicational hegemony, not because of “freedom of communication.”.


    • Eva Golinger is a paid propagandist of the Kremlin/Maduro government, logic is a anathema to such people!

      Only bother listening to what she says if you have the chance to leave a comment proving the falsehood of what she says, otherwise it is a waste of time.


  5. Twitter is the most popular microblogging service on the internet, with millions of users and millions
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