A Bloody Mess

On May 28th Venezuela celebrated the International Menstrual Hygiene Day.  On that day, we embraced: …the opportunity to create awareness of the right of women and girls to hygienically manage their menstruation – in privacy, safety and with dignity – Because, good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays a key role in enabling women and girls to reach their…

I am Tibi, hear me roar

Tibisay Lucena, the head of Venezuela’s National Elections Council, has been called many things before: a die-hard chavista; a machiavellian tool of the revolution; a sensible technician; a lover of fine London restaurants (ask me about that later). But one thing she had never been called before was “feminist icon.” After today, that may change. Today,…

The Pirates of Lake Maracaibo

Last Saturday, eight fishermen left their homes in San Francisco (South of Maracaibo) in the early hours to go to work. They didn’t return to their homes. Their families and friends became worried and the local police started a search. Three days later, authorities found them dehydrated on an oil rig in Lake Maracaibo, near the city of…

You only police once (YOPO)

Venezuelan cops don’t have it easy these days: they are either killed in horryfing circunstances, attacked by irregular armed groups or find themselves facing the wrath of the people they’re supposed to protect. So, what advice can be offered to those in charge of keeping us safe, specially when criminal bands have more deadly firepower at…

Kanaimö

For three days, the indigenous community of Kanaimö closed the airport (landing strip) in Canaima National Park, protesting the destruction and havoc that illegal mining is causing at the riverbend of the Carrao River, part of the Canaima lagoon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can find this video on their youtube channel explaining the situation in full detail.…

The disappearance of Alcedo Mora

Last February 27th, local Chavista activist Alcedo Mora allegedly left his home in the city of Mérida. He went to his workplace at the Merida State Government and met with his boss, Luis Martínez Rico, who’s the state’s Lieutenant-Governor. Later that day, he texted a few friends, telling them that SEBIN intelligence agents were looking for him, and that…

Human Rights Activists Under Siege

Melanio Escobar is an honest man, a good father, and a stubborn human rights activist. We had a chat last year in the midst of the student protests, due to his viral coverage of the imprisonment of thousands of protesters. I was impressed by this well spoken ex-punk rocker and journalist with a name that would…

Sara and Cesar

A mother was walking the streets of Coro with her son and daughter a few days ago. The mother, Sara, watched in horror, as her son, César, fell down an uncovered manhole, into the sewer below. In terror, she lunged into the sewer to fetch her son. Screams of panic followed, and then, silence. A…

Violence is a canard

Now that Leopoldo López has called people out into the streets, some are saying that Venezuelans are “too afraid” to march. They are afraid “colectivos” might begin shooting and killing at will. Let’s think about this for a moment. Suppose that in the entire country 500,000 people take to the streets this Saturday. Suppose that, God…

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…