Wednesday, 10 April 2013

First murder of the 2013 presidential campaign

On Tuesday evening Juan Aranda, an opposition activist, was taken away from his home in Western state Táchira by men claiming to be police agents. They said they were looking for him because he had wounded a Chavista. Aranda was surprised because he hadn't done such a thing. Earlier in the day his campaign team had met a group of Chavistas on the stree and they had shouted at each other political slogans and that was all. 

The men dressed up as policemen took him away. Aranda was found dead later in the wee hours of the next day, his body riddled with gunshot wounds.

Last year middle-ranking Chavistas blocked the road to a political rally of the opposition in Barinas, Chávez's state and shot dead two of the opposition activists. The state (i.e. Chavista) channel VTV simply said people had been shot, nothing more. They didn't mentioned anything else. If you were not watching Globovisión (less than 30% of the population nationwide can watch it - still) you most likely didn't hear anything about this.

Every time the opposition tries to do serious campaign outside Caracas and the few other places where international observers might be located, Chavismo officers or "sympathizers" use heavy violence. That's how Primero de Justicia activist Marcano was killed in front of the police station of El Tigre in 2009. That was the first name that came from the top of my head, but there are others. And there have been many others heavily wounded who haven't made it to the national news but we hear about them from our friends, relatives and from the couple of regional newspapers that are still publishing critical stuff, like Notitarde.

Chavismo is not throwing people from helicopters like Pinochet used to do. It doesn't need to with world oil prices 9 times higher than what they were in 1998. But it is still lethal and it will become more so by the day.

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