Venezuela: Another socialist activist killed


Jorge Enrique Medina Delgado, a member of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), was assassinated on March 17 in San Antonio del Tachira in the opposition-controlled state of Tachira.

Alexander Ramirez, a local PSUV councillor said Delgado is the third PSUV activist to be assassinated in Tachira in the past six weeks.

Delgado, a 51-year-old, school teacher, was a local PSUV leader and active member of the El Palotal communal council.

Delgado was shot by two people on a motorcycle who fired into the vehicle Delgado was travelling in. Delgado's wife was also shot twice, but survived.

Ramirez accused the opposition Tachira governor Cesar Perez Vivas of being behind the escalating violence against PSUV members in the state.

Ramirez said Colombian paramilitary groups financed by Perez Vivas are infiltrating the local security forces and generating fear in the border state.

He said paramilitaries were extorting local traders and street vendors, forcing them to pay protection money. "Many of them are infiltrators in Tachira state police, where they collect all the information and work with intelligence groups."

Ramirez declared: "We hold the fascist governor Cesar Perez Vivas responsible."

[Abridged from]