Unemployed and with a disabled husband, Cortez lived with her sons, Anderson Torres, 18, and Jose Alfredo Torres, 27. Crime spiked even further. Instead, according to opposition politicians and former Maduro supporters, the FAES became a means of social control in the country’s poor neighborhoods, wracked by hunger and joblessness, where criminal networks might stir upheaval and threaten government hegemony. In late July, a video here circulated online showing a dozen unidentified young men firing guns into the air in Altagracia de Orituco, a town of 50,000 in the state of Guarico. It is one of 20 cases Reuters has documented across Venezuela in which witnesses have described extrajudicial killings by the Special Action Force, or FAES, as the unit is known by its Spanish acronym. It often goes after poor, young men with minor rap sheets – marijuana possession and theft are two of the priors among those mentioned in this story – or petty troublemakers who bother local leaders. Peerwani, the forensic advisor in Texas, told Reuters clothes can be used to obscure smoke, gunpowder and other ballistic evidence indicating gunfire at close range. The officer said the thief’s description didn’t match Arevalo, but he wanted information nonetheless. FrançaisCriminalité à Barquisimeto The next day, the FAES published its statement, saying it had killed Arevalo and four others who had been “terrorizing” Kennedy. Pursuing his socialist “revolution,” Chavez stacked courts and police posts with allies who politicized law enforcement and the judiciary. “Without autopsy reports, medical reports, x-rays, internal injury pictures, any other documentation, there is no way to corroborate what they are saying.”. Neither the Interior Ministry nor the Information Ministry responded to requests for comment on detailed descriptions of this article’s findings. These people say the police killed one of the victims not in a street shootout, but in his home. “Instead, they decided to execute him.”. That marks a 160% increase from 2016, the year before the FAES was created. “They throw them straight onto the street to work, without basic policing skills, and innocent people end up dead,” said William Tovar, head of the main retirees’ association of the National Police. “This water isn’t poisoned, is it?” the officer asked, Escalona told Reuters. The FAES has been accused by the political opposition, the United Nations and many poor Venezuelans of conducting extralegal killings on behalf of the government of President Nicolas Maduro. • looted the houses they raided or the personal belongings of those who died. Opponents, he added, had turned Venezuela into a “war zone.”. “When he made that mistake, he took responsibility, and paid for it,” said Perez, his mother. Upon release in 2017, he worked briefly in Colombia. The CICPC, once the country’s top crime-fighting unit, soon drew criticism. The official story is also contradicted by video of that victim, reviewed by Reuters and reported here for the first time, that was obtained by investigators at Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly. SAVE! “Brother,” says Jose Arevalo, a 29-year-old shop worker who had been convicted of robbery earlier this decade but avoided legal trouble since. The site described in the statement is the area where the Tren del Llano video had been filmed. Shortages of basic goods and services combined with one of the highest crime rates in the world has caused Venezuela to become one of the world’s most dangerous countries. From an initial corps of about 640 officers, the FAES soon more than doubled in size. Crime soared. Human rights groups and families of the dead have called for investigations of the force, but so far only a handful of court cases, all inconclusive, have delved into the accusations against FAES officers. High crime rates in Venezuela is nothing new. PortuguêsCrime em Barquisimeto Violent crime is rife in both the capital Caracas and the interior, and as a foreigner you are a prime target. Barquisimeto Tourism: Tripadvisor has 5,178 reviews of Barquisimeto Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Barquisimeto resource. The doctor, like many other local specialists consulted for this story, spoke on condition he not be identified. Healthcare provision has … On January 25, a dozen FAES vehicles left Barquisimeto, the state capital, where the government last year had deployed hundreds of the force’s officers. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the girlfriend said she believes the video was shot by one of those people, all unknown to her, once she was outside. Oil prices plummeted the following year. With its statement, the FAES published the photo of Arevalo with the pistol. Editing by Paulo Prada. Internal government data reviewed by Reuters show 5,280 people died at the hands of all the country’s police after “resisting authority” last year. The aim, says one senior former member of the Maduro government, was to spread fear and keep Venezuela’s mean streets from spawning a new political opposition. Local authorities said opponents tried to burn her house down. In the state of Lara, a hotbed of opposition, protests flared. That, at least, is the official account, detailed in a statement the next day by the elite unit that conducted the operation – the Special Action Force of the Venezuelan National Police. La Ciudad es bien conocido por sus Universidades. “I don’t understand why they killed my son,” she said. Dozens of witnesses, as well as current and former police officers, told Reuters forensic investigators allied with the FAES often rubber-stamp the force’s fatality reports, without full analyses, and support its assertions that officers acted in self-defense. “There is no proof, but there is a deductive conclusion,” he said. The new reporting provides the deepest insight yet into the methods used by the force to snuff out perceived threats to Maduro’s increasingly authoritarian rule. Some officers are selected from existing precincts, others directly from police academies. Don't go expecting justice if you are a victim of crime - only a very small percentage of crimes result in trials and convictions. Families of three of those killed, along with other witnesses, told Reuters that FAES officers grabbed their targets off the street without provocation and then killed them several kilometers away. High 66.79: Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion The FAES faces little outside scrutiny. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. As a result, these high numbers of murders are committed in the city annually. On August 2, the FAES posted an Instagram video here of heavily-armed officers patrolling the town. His family doesn’t dispute that conviction. In every case reviewed by Reuters, family members said the only documentation provided by authorities was a death certificate and a brief report, with little medical explanation, claiming their relative died “resisting authority.”, “You cannot take the documents at face value,” said Nizam Peerwani, chief medical examiner for Tarrant County, Texas, and a forensic advisor with Physicians for Human Rights who has worked in conflict zones including Rwanda, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Gisela Rodriguez, the mayor whose house had been targeted by the protests, didn’t respond to phone calls or emails seeking comment. Reuters investigated six killings in Caracas, two in neighboring Miranda state, eight in the north-central state of Lara, and four in the central state of Guarico. “Once they are identified, they are neutralized.”. Your use of this service is subject to our, Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion, Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft, Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery. Several days later, his mother told Reuters, the family received a warning from an anonymous caller: Arevalo should be careful whom he associated with. High oil prices stoked economic growth for much of the following decade. EspañolCriminalidad en Barquisimeto, Copyright © 2009-2021 Numbeo. The video ends abruptly. After the shootings, according to the family and neighbors, the officers stayed at the house until evening. It said officers had shot Arevalo in a part of the barrio that is half a kilometer away from the home. In a statement, the CICPC said police killed the three because the men had fired upon the officers. Dernière mise à jour: Octobre 2019. Derrick Pounder, a forensic pathologist in Cardiff, Wales, who has investigated torture and extrajudicial killings for groups including the United Nations and Amnesty International, said: “The number of gunshot wounds in the midline at the lower chest, upper abdomen is worrisome given that the deaths are said to have occurred in the dynamic context of shootouts.”. Jose Dominguez, the chief commissioner of the FAES, declined to discuss Arevalo’s death or the other cases recounted in this story. Fotografias aéreas, vídeos para todo tipo de eventos, inspecciones de obra. Población total= “Otherwise, you’re going to die.”. Crime has increasingly plagued Venezuela since Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor and mentor, became president in 1999. Reuters couldn’t determine who authored the video. The certificate lists the gunshots to his thorax, but not the bullet wound in his head. For months, Reuters, other media, international agencies and human rights groups have reported on allegations surrounding the FAES. In each case, the official narrative was undermined by witness testimony, crime-scene photographs or official death certificates. Venezuela’s economy withered. “Neutralized,” it wrote in red letters above Arevalo’s face. The death of Arevalo shares many characteristics with other FAES killings. An officer told her, “FAES headquarters here is the morgue.” He suggested she go there to look. After the killings, protests in El Tocuyo waned. BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela ... "She did not commit any crime," said Joel Garcia a human rights activist, via Twitter. Two weeks after the Kennedy raid, Juan Guaido, an opposition leader and head of the National Assembly, declared himself Venezuela’s rightful president. Maduro, a fiery former bus driver and union leader, took over in April 2013 and declared crime a priority. International forensic doctors consulted by Reuters were also troubled by details and documentation surrounding the killings, including photographs of the bullet wounds in 10 of the victims’ bodies. “It’s as if the whole town died,” said Omar Escalona, Ramos’ uncle. Uruapan, Mexico. In July, a U.N. report denounced FAES “executions” and called on Maduro to dissolve the force. They pulled her from the house, drove her two kilometers away, and left her by a bridge. Explore Barquisimeto's sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset. The video, allegedly of members of a drug-trafficking gang known as the "Tren del Llano," was widely considered a challenge by the gang to authorities. She saw two bullet wounds in her son’s chest, another in his head, and deep bruising along his ribs and arms. Find the perfect hotel within your budget with reviews from real travelers. It said the FAES had launched a mission to "bring peace, tranquility and security" to the area. "This is a way of disguising the barbaric act that was committed against her." Adicionar dados para Barquisimeto. Officials from the CICPC didn’t return calls seeking comment. FAES officers, he added, removed bodies from the scenes before he and other CICPC colleagues arrived. In those 11 cases, and the other nine reviewed by Reuters, evidence suggests that FAES officers: • beat or tortured the targets before their deaths. Barquisimeto is the fourth largest city in Venezuela and is engulfed with gang wars as well as corruption in the government. In the early-20th century, Venezuela was limited to violent crimes occurring in rural areas. We need more contributors for Barquisimeto to increase our data quality. Very High. “There is an institutional and complicit silence here,” he told Reuters. ItalianoCriminalità a Barquisimeto His bid to unseat Maduro, which so far has failed, convulsed the country. Barquisimeto (Spanish pronunciation: [baɾkisiˈmeto]; Wayuu: Watkisimeeta) is a city in Venezuela.It is the capital of the state of Lara and head of Iribarren Municipality.It is an important urban, industrial, commercial and transportation center of the country, recognized as the fourth-largest city by population and area in Venezuela after Caracas, Maracaibo and Valencia One senior FAES commander said the force seeks to work responsibly. In the 1960s following the restoration of democracy, insecurity rose when FALNleftist guerrillas participated in violent confrontations with the government, though such clashes subsided due to lack of public support for the guerrilla movement. He told his family the gun wasn’t his. “You’re criminals,” the witness said the officer yelled. “Maduro uses the FAES whenever he needs a unit that is completely under his control, to carry out whatever attack, whatever atrocity,” said Zair Mundaray, a former deputy chief prosecutor, who left Venezuela after falling out with Maduro two years ago. He returned to Venezuela last year and started working at an uncle’s gold exchange. The Hope Center in Barquisimeto, Venezuela is the newest place where God has opened the door for Hope Partners. Over the next eight days, the FAES in statements said it killed 18 alleged criminals there who had resisted arrest. Among those sent in was the Corps for Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation, or CICPC. In every case, death certificates show that the deceased received similar, lethal gunshots to the torso – injuries that physicians, morgue workers, and current and former police officers told Reuters are more consistent with executions than with the chaotic ballistics of gunfights. The relatives denied that any of the three men were members of the gang. One officer walked to the home of Ramos around 7 p.m. “Stay calm and we won’t do anything to you,” the officer told him. Your use of this service is subject to our Like many other relatives of those killed, he sees a willful lack of accountability around the FAES and its operations. ... Barquisimeto, Venezuela — 54.96. The CICPC, moreover, wasn’t entirely loyal because it included some veteran officers who opposed Maduro’s government. Nares was walking in the small town of San Rafael, just south of Altagracia, on August 5 at about 6 p.m. Poverty is very high in the city and the government’s performance to reign in crime in the city has been very poor as well. But individual officers, he said, sometimes go too far. The five were then taken to a hospital, where they died of their wounds. Mora em Barquisimeto? The FAES soon pursued the CICPC. The elder brother had been arrested for marijuana possession several years earlier, she said, and the younger had spent a night in jail in 2017 after joining a crowd that looted food from a warehouse. 9. Crime em Barquisimeto . They ejected her and the kids from the house. In all of the cases reviewed, the FAES followed a pattern, issuing a statement saying that an armed assailant resisted authority and was killed in a shootout. The homicide rate, rising across Venezuela, climbed particularly fast in Miranda. The cop orders Arevalo to put on his shirt. • staged or altered the scene of the incident, often to create the illusion of aggression by those killed. CARACAS (Reuters) - Before daybreak on January 8, several dozen police officers swept through the streets of Barrio Kennedy, a hillside slum outside Venezuela’s capital. It is marked by hyperinflation, escalating starvation, disease, crime and mortality rates, resulting in massive emigration from the country. Israel Nares, his father, didn’t see his son the day of his death. A pistol was on Arevalo’s lap. Some of the officers came under fire from assailants, unprompted. According to his mother, who was nearby, and another eyewitness, a black FAES pickup truck pulled alongside and ordered him to get in. Last December, Arevalo posed for a photo with two of them on a rooftop. They forced the men to kneel behind a shed out back and pull their shirts over their heads, the witness said. 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