MIAMI – Two organizations of Venezuelan exiles slammed on Friday the death of David Vallenilla, 22, who was shot at point-blank range, supposedly by a military police sergeant during an opposition demonstration outside an air base in Caracas.
Politically Persecuted Venezuelans in Exile (Veppex) and Venezuela Awareness, both based in Miami, described Vallenilla’s death as “premeditated homicide with malice aforethought” after he was gunned down Thursday while protesting “peacefully” and “unarmed.”
Vallenilla, a medical assistant by profession, was shot twice “at a distance of less than 2 meters (6 feet) with buckshot that ended his life, and received the coup de grace while lying defenseless on the ground,” said Patricia Andrade, director of Venezuela Awareness.
Vallenilla’s death brings to 80 the number of fatalities recorded since a wave of protests broke out in Venezuela last April 1 against the government, according to the exile organization.
It noted that “once again we see how President Nicolas Maduro mocks civil society when he allows the Venezuelan armed forces to engage in criminal acts like killing young people.”
And it urged the international community to do something to help “bring back peace, democracy, justice and freedom” to Venezuela.
This slaying, said Jose Antonio Colina, president of Veppex, reflects the “orders given to the armed forces to treat peaceful demonstrators as enemies.”
The incident makes it perfectly clear that “members of the Venezuelan opposition must be physically eliminated,” something directly opposed to the armed forces’ true mission, which is “to guarantee the security and protection of citizens,” Colina said.