Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Another death, protests, and too many Police stories

When Jorge Aguirre took his camera this morning to cover for the spontaneous protests that were taken place in Caracas for the deaths of the Faddoul brothers, he probably never imagined that that afternoon his camera would contain the last picture of his life: the picture of his killer.

According to the journalists that were with him, Jorge Aguirre, a photographer for El Mundo, was shot by someone that was dressed like a policeman (see here) when he was in the car that was taking him and his peers to report one of the protests.

In fact, this morning, people took to the streets and closed some major arteries in Caracas to protest for the Faddoul assassination and for the state of insecurity that Venezuelans are living day in and day out (see here).

In the evening, several vigils were announced all over Venezuela.

Meanwhile, Isaias Rodríguez said that they had a lot of leads and that there is no connection whatsoever between the Sindoni case and the Faddoul case. He criticized the sectors that are protesting to politicize the case (see the MINCI news here). In other words, protest in solidarity but do not protest if you find that the personal security problem in Venezuela is huge and you blame the government for the state of affairs.

The chief of the technical police that was in charge of dealing with the kidnappers said that the investigation was not a failure but what happened was a “desperation” from the kidnappers…

Rodriguez also said that the government had been in touch with the kidnappers and from the accent they sounded Colombians. This was repeated later by Minister Chacon.This of course, is always convenient: blame the Colombians. I am not saying that the assassins are not Colombians, they might very well be, but I find it very particular that this would be the first tip that government officials would give on this investigation.

You see, Venezuelan people have traditionally blamed the Colombians for all their security problems. I do not know if that is true or not, but it is accepted as a fact by many Venezuelans. So this is an easy way for any government to get rid of its responsibility: find a likely scapegoat and put the blame on him. The poverty, the corruption, the state of the judicial and jail system, the drug dealing and the money laundering, the government ineptitude and the state of hate that Chavez has fostered over the years…nothing is the fault of the government. Just find the appropriate Colombian and people will forget about the fact that they are living in a state of siege led by an incompetent government.

In the meanwhile, other governmental entities have been busy promoting their solution to the problem: more and different Police forces. As I mentioned this morning, the mayor of Caracas, Juan Barreto, even published today an add in El Nacional to praise the neighboring police. Again, here is the add.

Barreto’s add says that with the People’s organization, personal security advances. It says that in Caracas, the fight against crime advances despite those that do not believe in the People’s organizations. It is said that with the Community Assemblies several security networks have been built: the Security tables, the Neighbouring Police, the Motorized Police, the Tourist Police and the Family Police to oversee the problems in Schools, Hospitals and inside the Families.

More than 3600 neighbours have been trained and armed to be part of these new neighbouring forces.

Today, Barreto, like Rodriguez, also asked not to use the pain and the death as a political flag (but wasn’t him the one that ordered the add in today’s El Nacional?). He also announced the Militarization of the current Metropolitan Police by creating the “Mayor State of Citizen’s Protection” composed of 11 military members that will be named by…the minister of the Defense and Chavez himself.

On the other hand, Barreto’s collegue, Freddy Bernal, asked that the law for the creation of a National Police be passed as soon as possible.

So this ghost blogger, after having read and analyzed all the facts, came to the conclusion that there are too many Policemen and too many Police forces in this story.

First the Sindoni case, next the Faddoul killing, then Jorge Aguirre’s killing…in all there seems to be policemen involved. It is like the Police forces have gone totally out of control or someone is really interested in having Police officers portrayed as kidnappers and killers.

And, of course the solution of the Chavista government is, as usual, instead of fixing what is already there, weaken what we have and build new entities where they can control everything. What they are putting in place is really scary: at your local level, a neighbouring police, a family police, a tourist police….and on top of everything, a National Police directly controlled by Chavez..and on the existing local Police forces, military men, also controlled by Chavez.

I do not know about you, but I am REALLY feeling that there are too many Police stories in this story

Jorge Arena

Worried and skeptical ghost blogger.

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