Venezuela: Chavista unionist and socialist grassroots leader assassinated

Esmin Ramirez (above) and Jacqueline Josefina Ortega.

Venezuelan trade union leader Esmin Ramirez was killed on April 23 in Guayana City in the south-eastern state of Bolivar after being kidnapped in an act that people close to him say was politically motivated.

Ramirez was a member of the Movement 21 union in the state-run iron ore producer Ferrominera and a member of the governing United Socialist party of Venezuela (PSUV). The union leader was killed by several gunshots to the head. He had been kidnapped the night before.

Ferrominera expressed condolences in a statement on social media, saying the company hoped that authorities would investigate and clarify the details surrounding Ramirez’s death.

Ramirez had denounced previous attacks against other members of Movement 21. He was an active participant in marches in support of President Nicolas Maduro, who has in recent weeks faced a wave of violent anti-government protests demanding his ouster. 

The union leader was preparing for a huge march for International Worker's Day on May 1.

Meanwhile, another grassroots leader, Jacqueline Ortega, was murdered in the greater Caracas area in Santa Lucia del Tuy on April 22. Ortega was also a member of the PSUV as well as a leader in her community's Local Production and Supply Committee (CLAP).

The CLAPs are government-initiated grassroots bodies created to provide alternative food distribution programs at a time when anti-government businesses are accused of manufacturing shortages.

Ortega was reportedly shot dead in her home by four masked assailants.

[Reprinted from Venezuelanalysis.com.] 

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