State of Emergency Declared in Táchira

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Nothing says emergency like wearing a sports jumpsuit with your name on it late on Saturday night.

Last night, Tarek el Aissami, ex-Minister of Justice and current Governor of Aragua, was in charge of reading part of the State of Emergency Decree which will rule over five municipalities of the Western Venezuela border state of Táchira.

The decree which, according to El Aissami, reflects “the supreme importance that Central Government places on Human Rights,” includes the following restrictions:

  • Suspension of gun permits.
  • Police can raid homes and businesses without judicial warrants.
  • Public protests will require a permit that must be issued 15 days in advance.
  • Discretional handbag and luggage inspections.
  • Limits on the amounts of cash that people can carry, and on financial transactions that may be performed within those territories.

(There is a good summary of constitutional guarantees that will be suspended at Efecto Cocuyo).

There is no confirmation that this State of Emergency Decree has entered into force yet (as it hasn’t been published in the Official Gazette). But there have been reports of raids by the military and the police to homes, and even a couple of brothels. Seriously.

Let´s try to answer some questions:

What triggered the decree?

Two days ago the border between Colombia and Venezuela (in Táchira) was closed by order of President Nicolás Maduro. According to the President, three military officers were shot and wounded by paramilitary/bachaquero forces. He also pointed out that Colombia had been sending drug dealers, gangsters, and poor people, to Venezuela ‪#‎Trumping‬.

Is that what REALLY happened?

There is no confirmation, of course, that any paramilitary/bachaqueros were involved in the shooting. In fact, ex-El Universal journalist, Thabata Molina, explained that the police (CICPC) report stated the following: Five men were riding in an SUV on “official” business. They were cut off by a motorbike with two men. The passenger drew a gun, and wounded four of the five men. Three of the wounded were military officers. The police have no information on the whereabouts of the two men on the motorbike.

What did the Colombians say?

Not much. President Santos, however, wasn’t thrilled. He said that the measure (closing the border) was unjustified and would not be a solution to smuggling and violence. That this would only hurt the common folk at the border, and that they (Colombia and Venezuela) should work together.

What would Chávez say?

Chávez once said that the suspension of constitutional guarantees was a thing of past governments. But then again, he said many things, and stood by only a handful of them.

Is the decree legal?

José Ignacio Hernández explains at Prodavinci that —even when some of the legal forms employed seem in place— there may not be an event that is critical enough to justify the State of Emergency. In a press release, the opposition coalition Mesa de Unidad (MUD) condemned this decree as dangerous and disproportionate, likening it to a rehearsal for calling off elections in December.

What will be the duration of the State of Emergency?

Originally it was set for 60 days, but Maduro later hinted at extending it to 60 more, so we could be looking at a total of 120 days.

Why did the Governor of Aragua read the decree instead of the President or the Governor of Táchira?

No one bloody knows.

62 thoughts on “State of Emergency Declared in Táchira

  1. “Why did the Governor of Aragua read the decree instead of the President or the Governor of Táchira?

    No one bloody knows.”

    Because chavismo can do as it pleases in this country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To me, this is merely the start. The country is becoming increasingly ungovernable. I expect that increasing larger sectors of the country will be placed under martial law. However, it will not work, because they government has no particular strategy or goals to achieve with these measures.

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    • Keeping themselves in power as long as possible and crush all dissent are evident goals.

      And let’s be honest: Everybody expected that it would end this way.

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      • OpUno,

        We are saying the same thing, but by saying they have no goals, I meant specific short-term goals for the State of Exception. The long-term goal of remaining in power as long as possible is a given.

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      • Hope not, getting as the new president a man that have being link with hezbollah, basicly declare war to Miranda in one of his rage outburts means this country is about to get trash/pariah status

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        • If that fucktard ever gets near chimpanflores, then I’ll fully support the most Pinochet-style anti-leftie purgue megahyper COUP that leaves him like mussolini.

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    • Just a sign that they are becoming more mentally disorganized each day , losing sight of even the most basic demands of the institutional order they are supposed to represent , there is no state , only a band o brigands acting helter skelter , its their mental slip showing , like a man appearing at a formal party with his fly open.

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    • El trasfondo es una pelea entre el Cartel de los Soles del Ejercito (Cabello y #1); y Nestor Reverol de la GN #3 (cartel de la Guajira).

      Colocan al #2 (Gorbernador de Aragua) para que interceda?

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  3. Or the Minister of interior, or the Minister of Defense, or the Vice-president. I mean there are a few dozen people that come to mind before the sportiest gocho governor of a central state.

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  4. Well, the good sign the Bolivarians are showing, be it Evo, Rafael, Nicolás, Cristina, or Dilma, is that they are very insecure, fearful and stressed in these last days. They can see that the tide has turned. They are all crying about the anti-communist protests all over the continent.

    http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2015/08/21/actualidad/1440152371_008067.html

    Yes, Cristina, there’s a big conspiration ongoing, and you guys lose in the end. You will fall one by one. Like a domino.

    Keep afraid, Bolivarians. We have nothing to lose except our chains.

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    • Evita III said:
      La presidenta dijo que los movimientos de protesta contra algunos presidentes como Rafael Correa o Dilma Roussef en los últimos meses le recuerdan a los de 1973 contra Salvador Allende. “Los cacerolazos llevan la marca de la CIA” llegó a decir.

      I am assuming that Evita III, in referring to the “cacerolazos,” is referring only to the pan-banging demonstrations in Chile during the Allende years. If so, Evita III is starting to lose it. The opposition to Allende constituted a solid majority. For example, the August 22 1973 Resolution of the Chamber of Deputies- which Allende correctly called a promotion of a coup-passed by a solid 63% majority. If the Allendistas had the support of the majority of the Chileans, then one would infer that after the 1989 elections for President, the winning coalition of the center-left would have re-instituted Allende’s economic policies. On the contrary, Pinochet’s economic policies remained in place.

      Lefties assume that since they have such great policies, that opposition to them can only be explained by the interference of the CIA.

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      • Yes, the CIA is not needed to make populaces turn against such level of political and economic depravity, their very own depravity make that possible.

        People like Kirschner, Allende, Maduro, etc, destroy their own popularity after some years of bad policies enacted, it can even be a decade, or more, depending on the size of the economy, oil reserves, foreign reserves, etc, but when the abysmal incompetence finally reach the everyday life of the masses, then there’s no escape for them, propaganda doesn’t work that well anymore, thus they desperately resort to the final frontier: full dictatorship; Martial Law, State of Emergency, etc, etc, to remain in power.

        Chileans learned very painfully WHAT NOT TO DO ECONOMICALLY with Allende. They owe him that. Venezuelans (and other peoples in the continent) are learning — painfully too, unfortunately — in the same way. Hopefully, we won’t be fooled again. We will learn that authoritarianism is not good EVEN WHEN IT SUPPOSEDLY ‘HELPS’ THE POOR, WEARS RED SHIRTS, AND VOMITS POLITICAL CORRECT SLOGANS, that no amount of ‘patria’, or free governamental arepas, can buy liberty.

        And my building sounds like a STOMP performance every time Dilma “speaks” on TV. I guess I will have to create two CIA ID cards and give to the elderly couple next door who banged their pans like there was no tomorrow last time… We are all CIA now!!!

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  5. The shooting is probably related to some fight among smuggling interests and criminal elements (hence the 3 wounded military gents whom we all now are steeped up to their ears in the smuggling business ) , nothing that should warrant a suspension of guarantees etc , The government needs desperately to fabricate one artificial crisis after the other (at the least provocation) to distract people from their daily hard times and redirect the anger now mounting against them towards a different objective, also to exhibit their naked fangs to make people fear them and soften them to later efforts at intimidation . The behaviour of the regime is growing increasingly crazed and aggresive , like someone who feels his losing it and must act wildly to save himself. !!

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  6. Besides the Estado De Excepcion precedent, the Govt. is trying to slow the contraband/bachaqueo over the border, to try to keep increasingly-scarce price-controlled goods in the Country. For the average Venezuelan macho,it used to be, “Don’t mess with my arepa, or else”– and they did, and nothing happened; then, “Don’t mess with my beer, or else”–and they did, and nothing happened. But now, they’ve messed with his brothel, and….?

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  7. Since Tarek is a gocho himself, maybe they thought he would be perceived as one of their own, delivering a message for his people’s sake. He’s the governor of a state hundreds of Km away? Circumstancial.

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    • Yeah, but so is Vielma Mora. That makes it even more strange.
      I was thinking that these guys were foreseeing bigger unrests in Tachira in the near future and decided to preemptively lock it down there. But for the life of me, I can’t imagine why Tarek was reading that.

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      • vielma mora is one of the most reviled persons in that zone, on the same level than iris-cazy-fosforito-varela, specially after his moronic fit calling gocho people “sabañones” and plenty of more insults after the protests in past year, which were sparked by some of his bodyguards when they raped a student.

        The MUD should broadcast this as the campaign for the elections on that state.

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  8. It is more likely that the military people who were shot were involved in illicit business- bachaquero or drugs- and got shot by someone also involved in the trade for vengeance of some sort. The GOV then used this as a pretext to install the State of Emergency.

    I wonder if it is possible that we have a Reichstag Fire type incident here, where someone in the GOV ordered the shootings. Perhaps the military people involved were honest, and were threatening to blow the whistle on some malfeasance. Thus their shootings would serve two purposes- keep the military in line, and create a pretext for the State of Emergency.

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  9. This is evidently a premeditated move that has nothing to do 3 officers attacked by giant ants.

    Just to test the waters a bit, so people become comfortable and familiar with the term ” Ejtado de esepsion”.
    Then again, the incredibly ignorant populace has no clue about what their constitutional right might be or even what a constitusion is, anyway, so it might mean no hay derecho a putas, cero polar, mosca con el bachaqueo- (avisale al gualdia primero, guebon, y dale su vainita..) vamos a comprate ese armamento, ah de paso, chamo, no hay elecsiones porque viene la guerra contra uribe y guyana. Y come yuca que no ay papa.

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  10. I do not see here any signs of a government crumbling. On the contrary I see a government taking absolute control of the country. Having millions of people waiting in long lines for food to be delivery and now beginning to close the borders only shows an authoritarian regime growing stronger every day. We will have to see if they get away with the closing of one of the liveliest borders in the world. For now everything, from the (incredible?)light reaction of Santos to the almost zero reaction of the international press to the docile reaction of the people in the border seems to indicate that they will (at least in the short run).

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    • “I do not see here any signs of a government crumbling.”

      It’s is crumbling politically, otherwise they would want to have free and fair elections. And with oil price falling the way it is, it’s crumbling economically too.

      To add insult to injury, the Bolivarian movement is losing momentum all over the place. It was expected that Maduro would have to step up repression, but I don’t think that we can say that his government is “growing stronger every day” because of that, I see the opposite.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Raúl, I was asking myself the same questions that you were asking in your post. Amazing.
    There suspension of guarantees is a war measure and yet, we have no idea what is going on.

    But the strangest thing is the fact that it is El Aissami, the governor of a state other than the one where the emergency is declared, that provides the news. No President, no minister of the interior, no minister of information, no governor of Táchira. What is the meaning of this? Where is CNN to ask the question? Why is the minister of Aragua giving the information?

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  12. The interesting thing is, while Maduro made a decree, who will carry it out as the situation continues to unravel? “The government” no longer referes to a cohesive group – and you know those shot in that SUV were dirty. When will the big splintering start happening between the executive branch, the military, the police, the various “intelligence” agencies, the Cubanos, and so on. Since it in now only money nd power holding things in place, what happens with the money gets even tighter, as we know it will?

    JL

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  13. Raúl,
    Perhaps because El Aissami reads better than the rest? Perhaps because he is considered the next something and they want to try the people’s reaction?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ” Five men were riding in an SUV on “official” business. They were cut off by a motorbike with two men. The passenger drew a gun, and wounded four of the five men. Three of the wounded were military officers. The police have no information on the whereabouts of the two men on the motorbike.”

    The level of incompetence shown by the police and every other official force to be unable to find a couple that basically gunned them in the middle of the day, in front of a goddamn city full of people, is hilarious.

    “What will be the duration of the State of Emergency?”

    As much as they want, the emergency states can be “respawned” as many times as the bureaucrat wants, there’s no limit to the number of times they can extend them.

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  15. Tareck is wearing a more fashionable line of track suit to work than the Commandante Eterno, who though he may never have heard the english expression “wrapping oneself in the flag”, certainly personified it.

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  16. And lo and behold, on a Saturday with closed borders, the bolivar actually managed to lose even more value, according to dolartoday. Don’t stop believing, folks!

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  17. Instrucciones del Gobielno Nazional para el pueblo Zombie Come-Yuca:

    Hoy lunes vayan a hacer su cola : llego el pollo de Uruguay y tambien hay arroz de Guyana.

    En horas normales, o seran arrestados por bachaqueros.

    No hay papa pero si hay yuca peruana.

    Los pañales se lavan en el Guaire.

    El que patalee va preso.

    Esta cerrada la frontera, Zombies Come-Yuca. Osea que busquen oficio o vean la novela.

    Viva nuestro Comandante Eterno Hugo Chavez Frias.

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  18. The state of emergency was really just about the oil price today ($37.75)! When it hits $35, they will probably declare a national crisis, and start building walls across the borders overnight.

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  19. This explains why Tarek El Assaimi read the communique:

    El gobernador del estado Aragua, Tareck El Aissami, como miembro del Puesto de Comando Presidencial, leyó el Decreto 1.950, contentivo de 18 artículos, mediante el cual el presidente Nicolás Maduro suspendió en los municipios Bolívar, Ureña, Junín, Independencia y Libertad del estado Táchira, las garantías previstas en los artículos 47, 48, 50, 53, 68 y 112 de la Constitución.

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    • El trasfondo es una pelea entre el Cartel de los Soles del Ejercito (Cabello y #1); y Nestor Reverol de la GN #3 (cartel de la Guajira).

      Colocan al #2 (Gorbernador de Aragua) para que interceda?

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  20. I’ve been stuck at the border since Thursday that it happened. Fortunately I’m on the Venezuelan side, but my trip to Venezuela most likely will be futile because of this.

    I have spoken with so many people with incredible stories… I will try and summarize some of it and make o couple of posts.

    The interesting thing for me is that everyone knew it was coming… the shooting was apparent the excuse. I’ve heard stories from locals both from San Antonio and ureña and they all revolve around corruption, and vacunas that were previously paid to the National Guard and now the army who is baby sitting the National Guard and also asking for a cut.

    I’ve seen first hand raids of houses… supposedly looking for gas…. I’m being told by very reliable people that they are marking houses with an r if checked, d if to be demolished… I’ve seen detainees in San Antonio by the truckload.

    Man do I have stories from this trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “I’ve heard stories from locals both from San Antonio and ureña and they all revolve around corruption, and vacunas that were previously paid to the National Guard and now the army who is baby sitting the National Guard and also asking for a cut.”

    Get your stories straight. It’s not about corruption in Vzla, it’s all about national sovereignty.

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  22. Just a show of muscles, as everything they are doing is happening in the frame of the poorly-media-effected OLPs.

    “I need to convince i’m fighting an internal war” that’s the reasoning behind the decree and the massive deportations. Colombians in the frontier are the new scapegoats.

    Which the effect would be? Maybe they are expecting an increase in the approval rating of Maduro and the government after the raids in order to prepare for the votings scenario. A+B = victory scenario A = internal war fighting and B = goods supply fantasy. We know they are preparing B, but as B is not as bigger as they would wanted (as oil is falling down deeper daily) they have to enhance it by means of A. We have to wait before setting any conclusion if A would be possitive (A>0) or deleterial (A<0) to their strategy.

    At the end, another file to the The-Hague profile, this one a very very evident one, as the raids are happening before the decree were enacted in the Official Gazette, so, the vulneration and violation of constitutional rights until the gazette would be on the streets is illegal and a cause for human-rights-violation prosecution for the persons directly involved in the implementation of this witches-hunting.

    Maybe that's a reason for to Vielma Mora not reading the decree.

    Would be nice to check what is the correlation between the OLP huntings and the prans wars. As in this government everything seems cassual but is not, some surprises could be hiding below the carpet.

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  23. I’m a stone throw from the ureña border crossing. Lots of journalists gathering. The national guards say Uribe will give a press conference this afternoon from the bridge

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  24. Here is my rant!

    Chavistas are doing a routine another check of how far the armed forces will go down the human-rights-abuse road in Tachira. I mean, cota 905, protests of last year, political prisoners, Afuini, and on and on and on. My only hope is that they have not done a whole-country-at-once takedown and that they probably use the same units over and over again in the different places.

    If the 16 years of brainwashing of the armed forces was done properly and what we now have are in fact bolivarian armed forces, then… we are fucked!

    I mean, all they have to do is keep playing the cuasi democracy card and give the “opposition” a victory here and there, but without actual power and always with the posibility that they could go to jail. They know that the MUD will gladly take that bone and keep playing their game for I dont know how much longer!

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  25. Is it Tarek or Tareck? Because if it’s Tarek that’s el colmo, wearing a sweatsuit with your name misspelled on it….

    As for reasons to have Tare(c)k send out the info, my 2 cents is that it’s to deflect blame for the closing away from the Tachira governor and to show unity.

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  26. I wonder , is this measure of closing part of the border a popular one ??, is it arousing enthusiasm among ordinary people ??, do they feel the govt is doing something that needed doing ?? or are most people largely indifferent or even discomfitted by it ??Do we we see throngs of people marching to show their approval of this measure or are they mostly concentrated in worrying about something else. ?? We all know the answer to these questions !!

    Maybe the financial situation is getting so desperate with the free fall in oil prices that this represent a belatted attempt at dealing with the smuggling going on along the border with the connivance of GNB and the collaboration of thousand upon thousand of colombians and venezuelans living along the border. !!

    One thig for sure the actual gain for the govt in taking this measure is one which is one which is insufficient to stave the loss of popularity resulting from the ongoing crisis , even if they try to paint it as a confrontation with colombian paramilitaries and elements of the domestic armed forces , because the latter have no friends !!

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    • ” Maybe the financial situation is getting so desperate with the free fall in oil prices that this represent a belatted attempt at dealing with the smuggling going on along the border”

      Funny that there’s a lot of smuggling from Paraguay to its neighbours because Paraguayan products are so much cheaper, yet we don’t see scarcity happening in that country. Maybe it’s because they don’t have such rigid system to buy dollars nor price controls/expropriations/lootings(dakazos)/thousands of businessmen selling everything to move overseas/no legal certainty allowing the reinvestment of profits (what profits?) in the business to comply with the bigger (Colombian) demand.

      What makes me think that the Venezuelan problem is systemic, and that even if it managed to curb100% of the smuggling from its borders to Colombia, there would still be scarcity in the months/years/decades that follow– assuming the Chavistas are not deposed in the same period.

      Actually, speaking about Paraguay, the more products they smuggle through their borders, the bigger their stores and warehouses get. Quite ironic (for a Chavista, it seems). The same could be happening in Venezuela.

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      • Perhaps the difference with Paraguay is that here whats feeding the smuggling frenzy is the Venezuelan regimes policies of maintaining a totally artificial exchange rate , absurdly controlled internal prices , huge subsidies of ordinary products which create an enormous incentive for smuggling goods from Venezuela to Colombia . The current measure is like someone puttig his house on fire douzing it with gazoline and then destroying part of it to stem the spread of the flames !!

        Some level of smuggling is normal but the kind of smuggling we are seeing now is particularly destructive and widespread becase its fanned by internal venezuelan conditions which the regime has created and now pretends to blame on people who are naturally taking advantage of them .

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    • I have heard mixed feelings. But the great majority thinks it’s crazy. Everyone lives from smuggling. And the poor in Colombia and Venezuela are the one who will suffer the most. I’ve heard people who buy ten loafs of bread walk across, sell it and hard currency and walk back. They sell bread to Barrios in the street of Cúcuta and get an exorbitant return on their investment which in turn allows them to live.

      Since everyone is in on it. As a collective they all help drive scarcity on this side of the border. It feels individual interests of an quick profit help drive scarcity.

      The price difference is just so overwhelming!

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  27. There is food in ureña and people lined up at the supermarket. It seems like a ploy to tell people that there was no food because of bachaqueros. Although I have to say, everyone and everything thing is into smuggling down here.

    Supposedly the governor was coming to ureña and that they were going to be raids by some group called OLP. I can only say I’ve seen a good share of all sorts of law enforcement convoys back and forth between ureña and San Antonio.

    Because. Of the raids they are giving away gas… And there are reports of people complaining that it’s being thrown down the drain to avoid being caught with it.

    I met a few people who have crossed through the trochas close to San Antonio. Two thousand bolívares in 100 or 50 bills to cross. Colombians are fearful of being caught as the Venezuelan cédula is working like a salvoconducto.

    I heard that people were crossing through Arauca and that it was dangerous. It seems to be militarized. The santander port was charging 300 per person and is now closed as well.

    I keep on getting messages and heard from locals that the Zulia border is militarized since yesterday and will be closed too.

    Apparently Cúcuta has gas shortage as their pumps are small and seldom used. There are almost no lineups at gas stations…. Although a great deal of them are closed. Towns like colon have no gas but I saw to large pdvsa trucks driving into ureña. The international gas station in ureña is working and selling gas at 83 per liter. It had a huge lineup when u arrived last week and now it’s empty.

    They are letting some people cross who can prove are tourist, whatever that means. Only through San Antonio. I left ureña and will be back tomorrow. I am told by the dozen, like a prisioner exchange. Also heard by buses of 30-40.

    There is just not a lot official information… But a lot of people are afraid to cross through he trochas. Everyone is waiting. Tensa calma except for those that have illegal houses and are being ransacked and marked for demolition.

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  28. I’ve heard multiple stories about the shooting.

    The most prevalent one was one of a vacuna pickup gone wrong. Which is apparently odd because vacunas were charged by the gnb not army. It seems army was sent to oversee gnb and they asked for more on top of what they already paid.

    Another version was about army officers taking a cut without the permission of the higher ups and they were killed by sicariato.

    I was told stories of an army Sargeant being caught with 5 million in cash in a car while crossing back. That she was taking an unauthorized cut.

    The common theme as I said before is about corruption. There are groups led by the majors of the cities, the governor, the army, the gnb… They all take a cut and smuggle their own things by the truckload.

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    • Corruption? Noooo.. that’s the least of Guisozuela’s problems.

      Rest assured that all irregular activities have stooped, all culprits will be captured and brought to justice.

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    • Already mentioned a TV interview given about a month abo by an army argent surrounded by army guys with their guns at the ready , his face hidden , as background some GNB checking some people crossing the border, the sergeant was saying to the tv interviewer ‘ we are here to try and stop those bums (pointing towards the GNB , from engaging in their ‘disrty business’. There is no love lost between the GNB and the Army , generally the latter see the GNB as epitomizing corruption, The military out on the street may wear uniform but they are usually GNB , not army.

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  29. The writers of this blog apparently got caught bachaqueando on the border, or writing open letters to the TSJ about our elusive BCV inflation data or playing with the phenomenal “elections forecast tool”.

    In such cases you can always count on Miguel or Daniel:

    http://devilexcrement.com/2015/08/23/maduro-declares-state-of-emergency-in-parts-of-tachira-state/#comment-269694

    http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.com/2015/08/december-6-elections-autogolpe-maduro.html?showComment=1440456658462#c4989171071669437994

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  30. The colombians being persecuted are just bachaqueros , who buy stuff here to resell abroad , to fight them the regime takes extraordinary measures that hurt not only those bachaqueros but Venezuelans living this side of the border.

    The question is why doenst it do anything to fight the bachaqueros who operate inside the Venezuelan border , why does it allow them to engage in their business without any interference even if they make a disaster of an already miserable situation and profiteer from the reselling of the same subsidized goods which Colombian smugglers deal with . …oh I know ,,,,,,,Venezuelan bachaqueros vote and belong to that class of people that the govt doenst want to antagonize but rather have as followers….!!

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