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  HOME | Venezuela (Click here for more Venezuela news)

VenEconomy: Venezuela Breaks Down in Tears

From the Editors of VenEconomy

Venezuela today cries from the heart the murder of Kluiverth Ferney Roa, an eighth grader who was shot in the head after leaving school and unexpectedly running into a demonstration in full development near the National Experimental University of Táchira (UNET) in Táchira state on Tuesday.

The 14-year-old teen was born amidst the so-called "peaceful but armed" revolution of the 21st century, an era when the late Hugo Chávez began to show the true face of his revolution.

Roa was a teenager who lived, suffered and died in a country where thinking differently from what is imposed by a ruling elite is considered a crime. He was a teenager who, as many thousands of them in Venezuela, perhaps still couldn’t distinguish truth from lies of what he was being taught in the classroom with respect to the history of his own country. Roa lived in the country of shortages, rampant crime, student protests and unrestrained repression and brutality of the security forces of the State.

Just as appalling is the fact that the man who was indicted for taking the life of Roa happens to be a 23-year-old officer of the National Bolivarian Police (PNB) named Javier Mora Ortiz, a young man trained to defend the interests of the Government and not those of the country’s citizens. A young man who became the killer of the dreams of Roa and his parents. Mora Ortiz is another life destroyed by the desire to impose ideas and political models on others at whatever cost.

Today Mora Ortiz is behind bars, while authorities have assured he will be applied the full force of the law. But, where is the responsibility and the sanctions imposed on his superiors, i.e. the Chief Commander of the PNB, the Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace and the Governor of Táchira state? In the same place where the responsibility of the current Minister of Defense and Nicolás Maduro is, who less than a month ago gave the nod to the controversial Resolution 008610 that authorizes the use of "firearms or other potentially deadly weapons" in order to "prevent public disorders, support the legitimately constituted authority and reject any aggression by confronting it immediately and with the necessary resources." Therefore it is unacceptable and untruthful that Maduro has said on Wednesday that "armed repression is forbidden in Venezuela." Even more unacceptable is to try to justify the murder, saying that the police forces were surrounded by demonstrators throwing stones at them and accusing the murdered boy for being an alleged member of a sect of the right wing.

The murder of Roa comes at a time when the tears shed for the crimes against 43 young people who participated in the demonstrations of February of last year have not dried yet; when the pain of those who were tortured back then is still felt in their bodies and minds; when there are still 61 people out of the more than 3,500 detainees in jail for protesting; and when there are young people subjected to torture in an underground cell in Caracas known as "The Tomb."

Roa was murdered when the crimes of five young people have not yet been clarified: José Frías and Julio García (Mérida state); Jhon Barreto (Táchira state) and Yamir Tovar and Arianyi García (Caracas) were still in police custody for protesting and their bodies were found a week ago all tied up, beaten and lifeless.

Today Venezuela cries for its children, for the nearly 25,000 people killed by violent criminals in 2014 and for Gerardo Gabriel Gómez Lugo, a 14-year-old three-time national Kenpo champion, who was murdered by criminals when he was commuting on a bus in western Caracas.

These deaths are not isolated events or individual facts as the Governor of Táchira state, José Vielma Mora, and the Minister of Interior, Justice and Peace, Carmen Meléndez, described the murder of Roa.

There is widespread evidence that repression and violence are today a State policy of the Bolivarian government of Venezuela. And as Mexican writer and journalist Elena Poniatowska asked herself, "What is the future of a country where the State kills its own students?

VenEconomy has been a leading provider of consultancy on financial, political and economic data in Venezuela since 1982.

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