Heartbreak for a Real “Reyes Mago”

This is one of those stories that just hits you right there.

Dr. Jesús Reyes was a revered pediatric oncologist at J.M. de los Rios Children’s Hospital, moving heaven and earth to treat his little patients in the face of mounting shortages of chemotherapy drugs.

Dr. Reyes was the kind of Doctor who would take his young cancer patients on trips out to the beach.


On Wednesday, he took a group of patients across town to El Llanito hospital, where he heard they still had some of the drugs the kids needed. They got their treatment, and Dr. Reyes took off for the night to go home.

His body was found the next day, on his bed at home, with hands tied and two stab wounds to the chest. 

His 120 patients and their families are forlorn.

27 thoughts on “Heartbreak for a Real “Reyes Mago”

  1. Joder.

    Yo vivia en El Llanito. Vi construir ese hospital. No se cuantas veces habré pasado por ahi a pie camino a mi casa.

    La sensación de volver a leer el nombre de la urbanización donde pase casi toda mi vida y un crimen tan horrendo … creo que no habia sentido nunca antes con tanta claridad como el país que yo recuerdo se murió hace años ya…


  2. FT, there is more to this story than simple hampa–it’s personal, and frequently happens in this type of cases.


    • NET. What’s your definition of “simple hampa”, petty burglary? Sounds to me like homicide to me, perhaps, personal too. We’ll probably never know. However, ask yourself this, does the Venezuela of today have the resources to follow through and investigate this crime, solve it and provide justice? May Dr. Reyes rest in peace.


    • “–it’s personal”

      Victim blaming, that gives me nausea…

      Also, not every choro in Venezuela has a 9mm, many still roam with knives and chuzos.


      • Ralph,

        The guess that it was “personal” is not “victim blaming”. That is just criminology. The victim’s hands were tied and THEN he was stabbed. The assumption is that he was not murdered and then the perpetrator tied the corpse’s hands. So, the victim was already incapacitated, but was then still murdered… with a knife. That is “personal” act. Now, one theory is that they left him alive at the beginning to ask where the valuables were, and then killed him afterwards to prevent him from identifying them. However, if I were the investigator, I would probably start with the first theory, and start looking for people with motive.

        Of course, the sad fact is that they probably will never truly investigate it fully nor find his murderer.


        • “Personal” implies there’s a “reason” to do the act, it implies that the victim had some measure of responsibility about what happened to him and thus deserved what he had coming.

          It was not a “personal” act, it was just the psychopathy of a shithead full of evil and hatred, a subhuman specimen who considers every other human being as less than a turd, they killed him because they could GET AWAY WITH IT, because the bastard enjoys inflicting suffering on others.

          The little shit might think he had a “reason” inside his own logic, such as “he took too much time to tell me where he had his money” or “he looked at me”, but that’s the psychopath’s mind, they always have an excuse for everything they do, they’re infallible and perfect and everybody else deserves to be disemboweled.


    • “Personal” means that the perpatrator knew the victim, was probably invited into the victim’s home (no forced entry)–that does not excuse the perpetrator, but those who engage in personal activities with high-risk individuals frequently end badly


  3. This doesn’t matter.

    25000 murders per year doesn’t matter.

    What matters is we are in power, and no one will ever get us out of here.


    The Venezuelan Royal Families (you know who we are).


    • PS: Our primary tool to exert control over the perraje is doing a fine job, they won’t protest nor say a peep about our fortunes and hipocrisy.


  4. Unfortunately the people who could not tolerate crime’ like most bloggers here, and about 1.5 Million Professionals, left the country long ago. Plus the censured media won’t publish these atrocities.

    Those who are not government leeches are on survival mode. The only thing that seems to move them is when there’s no harina pan or no electricity. That’s why I love Bachaqueros.


  5. Murder rate in 1998: 19 x 100000 (a fraction of that for Colombia or Mexico)
    Murder rate now: over 60 x 100000 (figures often contested but that number corresponds very much with my projections for my region, for which there are more detailed stats)


    • Kep,

      Most sources claim it is over 80 now. Hard to know for sure of course… no official statistics.


      • I am aware of that. I am being extremely conservative for reasons Dorothy Kronick has mentioned here as well.
        My actual numbers for Carabobo is at least 73 murders per 100,000 inhabitants for 2014. That’s horrible enough.


  6. So say you want to help the country. You decide that you can fight for change in Venezuela on a very basic level and go into medical care or into specific nonprofits and social services. You don’t have to fear anyone expropriating your business, or censoring your work, or politically persecuting you, you can just keep your head down, work hard with what you have and still have a positive impact on society. For the greater good, right?

    Well, no. Because at the end of the day, you are still a target. And you could probably tell all this to the vermin who’s just tied you up in your own home and he’ll still unflinchingly murder you.

    If the situation doesn’t even allow you to work like this poor man did in something so fundamentally good, what then?


    • My teenage niece was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer about 6 years ago. Her prognosis was really not good, but thanks to some amazing care here in Montreal she beat it, and has been in remission for years now.

      I’ve seen her relationship with her Pediatric Oncologist and it’s just remarkable. It burns with an intimacy and intensity you rarely see between people who aren’t family or lovers.

      I think that’s why this story got me so much. Pediatric oncologists aren’t normal doctors. They’re a breed apart. I can’t bear to think about Reyes. I can’t bear to think about his patients.


      • Well said; this is heartbreaking.

        It says “A través de Twitter, compartió en varias oportunidades denuncias de fallas en hospitales por falta de insumos.” Please don’t let this be some petty chavista revenge.

        Are there any updates? Was his apartment robbed?


      • It’s not only the fact that cancer medication is scarce and damn near unobtainable, it’s the fact that the people capable of administering it are perfectly dispensable from the thug POV.
        It’s the fact that Dr. Reyes’ title gave his murderer(s) no pause whatsoever.
        Moral crisis doesn’t even begin to cover what this country is going through.


      • Medical specialists are in a sense living treasures, since they are the result of at least 10 years of training and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in hospital and university infrastructure.

        I don’t know how many paediatric oncologists practise in Caracas, but surely each of them is statistically responsible for the lives of thousands of sick children.

        The direct result of this murder is a worsening of the prognosis, and a decrease of the survival rates, of his patients.

        His death is just an infinitesimal part of the murder count, one of aprox. 25000 for the last 12 months. That figure alone is a monument to policy failures and malice emanating from the regime. Yet I am sure that a majority of his patient’s parents have been voting to keep the politicians responsible for the Venezuelan crime epidemic in power.

        So go figure. Venezuelans may have a spiked rod deep in the ass without feeling anything and even begging for more, as long as they receive a few crumbs for free.


      • Well said. All the death in Venezuela, but this one…there is something about this one that just hits you. A pediatric oncologist at a public hospital. Others may die because of this murder, because people like him not only practice their profession, they try valiantly and selflessly to overcome the limitations of the system to save their patients. We know those people are out there. In a situation like the present one in Venezuelan hospitals, when people like this die, others are going to die because of it. Kids.


  7. It is another sad day in Venezuela. Many children will now suffer from a lack of care and love that Dr. Reyes was giving. God bless the good doctor.

    The government spends tens of millions of dollars protecting Maduro from fake assassinations that never happened and include arresting suspects for a crime that never happened. I doubt that any Chavista official will attend Dr. Jesús Reyes’ funeral. I doubt that the police will work on the case at all after 2 days. I doubt that it will be recorded as a crime in official statistics.


  8. A tragedy: for the children Reyes treated, for their families, and for the nation (or what’s left of it) given the enormous investment in Reyes’ education, so that he in turn could provide the benefits of that training.

    In northern latitudes, here’s what that investment entails:
    4 years for an undergraduate degree normally in the sciences, 4 years for a medical degree, 3 years for a pediatric residency, 3 years for an oncology residence. That’s 14 years of post-secondary education with an enormous payoff for society.


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