Milagros Socorro broke Twitter yesterday with her reporting of a guajiro upheaval in the border town of Sinamaica. The Zuliana journo summarized the story in 26 tweets and then filled in the blanks with an article at Konzapata. Turns out a pissed wayuu crowd raided -as vikings do- the town hall of the Bolivarian Municipality of La Guajira.
The Breakdown: The National Guard and the local government have cracked down heavily on the towns people, most of them guajiros, on accounts of them being bachaqueros and smuggling price-controlled goods across the border to Colombia.
According to Socorro’s local sources, at least 40 young men have been murdered by the military in the past year in the area. The most recent one, a 16 year old kid. Also, the locals believe that the real smugglers are -you guessed it- the National Guard and the government. They are mad, and on August 4th decided to protest.
And then, this happened…
“Yesterday, #4A, 4 fully trucks loaded with food crossed the control post of the National Guard at Río Limón.”
“The 4 trucks also crossed with no problem the post of the regional police. At that point, the people of Sinamaica were enraged:”
“If they try to cross with two packs of harina PAN, the police takes one; if they try to cross with two bottles of cooking oil, one is confiscated.”
“When a police officer told the protesters that the trucks were crossing “by orders from upstairs,” the trucks were raided.”
After raiding the trucks they went for the town hall, and burned at least half of the Municipal offices, including the Civil Registry. Then, the good people of Sinamaica took to the town’s square carrying four portraits they found in the now scorched offices: Mayor Herbert Chacón; Governor Francisco Arias Cárdenas, President Nicolás Maduro, and Hugo Chávez. A bonfire was lit.
In Milagros’ own words:
In the Venezuelan #Guajira people went from radical chavistas to be the first to burn Chavez’s portrait in a public square.