The media likes to blame government repression for the recent deaths in Venezuela, but the actual figures tell a different story.
Worryingly, they reveal a right-wing terror campaign involving political assassinations and public lynchings of government supporters, providing a frightening insight into what the opposition would do in power.
While a large number of deaths remain under investigation (44 of the 105 deaths between April 1 and July 19), 28 can be directly or indirectly attributed to the actions of opposition protesters. This compares with 13 deaths caused by security forces.
Among the victims of right- wing violence are left-wing activists and workers targeted because of their views. They include:
• Rexol Alexander Acevedo Navas, 32, a workers’ leader at the worker-controlled Industrias Diana factory, who was shot on May 2 at an opposition roadblock in Carabobo state. His body was found the next day next to his burnt out vehicle.
• Juan Lopez, 28, a socialist student federation president, was shot on May 4 at the end of a student assembly in Anzoategui.
• Pedro Josue Carrillo, 21, a local socialist leader in Lara, was kidnapped by masked men in a truck on May 16. His body appeared two days later with burn marks and signs of torture.
• Ramses Martinez, 20, Chavista community youth leader with the Francisco Miranda Front was shot in the head on June 30 while attempting to clean up an opposition street barricade in Lara.
• Jose Luis Rivas Aranguren, 42, a worker candidate for the constituent assembly, was shot 11 times in the face on July 10 as he stood up to speak at a public campaign event in Aragua.
There has also been an alarming rise in public lynchings and people being burnt alive due to being suspected of being government supporters. A couple of cases:
• Orlando Figuera, 21, was brutally beaten and set on fire on May 20 by opposition protesters in Caracas.
• Hector Anuel was hit by a mortar fired by opposition protesters on July 18 in Anzoategui, who then burned him to death and beat his corpse.
There have been numerous other cases where the victims were lucky to escape with their lives
The aim of these actions is clear: to instill terror among those who disagree with them. But none of this makes it into the corporate media because it does not fit their narrative of a “peaceful” and “democratic” opposition.
[Compiled from data from Venezuelanalysis.com. Published in the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network July 2017 special liftout.]