Saturday, August 14, 2010

The crude reality of Venezuela's violence: El Nacional under attack

Bello Monte, 12/2009
When you have cynical idiots like Andres Izarra president of Telesur mocking the war-like suffering of the Venezuelan people you cannot be surprised that the local media counter attacks strongly, while it can still do so. The picture below occupies half of the front page of El Nacional and has generated an extraordinary reaction within chavismo.  Not to seek solution to the problem, of course, but to threaten El Nacional with multiple law suits.

I confess that the way my 'lifestyle' is set in San Felipe the first newspaper I read is Tal Cual through the web at lunch time.  At some point during the day I buy either El Universal or El Nacional, according to whichever is left at my newsstand, and I read it at 5 when I get back home to drink my daily teapot.  Needless to say that my teapot had a bitter stormy taste today, besides explaining the delay in publishing on the right that picture of the morgue in Caracas, at Bello Monte, a picture taken by an El Nacional person last December and only published today as a response to the cynicism of a regime that refuses to acknowledge that Caracas has little to envy to the body count of Kabul or Baghdad.

El Nacional simply mentions what we all know already, that the Venezuelan morgues do not have enough staff to deal with the onslaught of dead bodies sent to them, and thus the messy pile up we can observe on the above picture.  El Nacional also tells us that the morgue of Bello Monte has received in the first 6 months of this year, 2010, 2177 bodies of homicide victims, more than the year digits!  Think about that for a second, before you rush to compare this number to war torn Baghdad.

The accompanying article will do little to cheer you up.  If 2,177 bodies were for murder, the total for the 6 months was 3,111 bodies (difference due to accidents I presume). The whole of Venezuela has seen AT LEAST 5,186 murders in the same period.  I wrote "at least" because the regime refuses to publish the final numbers and we must rely on ONG body counts as they are brought to the diverse morgues of the country.  72% of the victims are male between 15 and 29, giving a new meaning to 2lost generation".  And to illustrate the meanness that such a murder rate implies, 63% of the bodies shot have been shot 5 times or more.  5 bullet wounds at least!

Needless to say that the impact of front page of El Nacional generated a virulent reaction of "shoot the messenger" in the regime ranks, already quite touchy after the CNN debacle of Izarra and Chavez in Santa Marta.  The CICPC director started by threatening a law suit against El Nacional.  The CICPC is kind of a FBI and its director Wilmer Flores Trosel is a jerk, and a manipulator one at that.  For some reason he considered an argument that the picture dates from 2006 whereas the Nacional puts clearly the date on its front page.  But in 2006 ALREADY violence and crime and murders and morgues were a problem!!!!!  And the regime had been in office for 7 years already!  Besides, Trosel does not explain why 2006 is the date.

Not to be left behind, the ombudsman, people's defense, Gabriela Ramirez who is absolutely genetically unable to defend anyone that is not chavista even though we all pay her paycheck, went out to say that such front page is an injury to the brains of young people who should be protected from such nightmares and the Nacional made to stop such publications.  No word from her as to her plans to protect the innocent ears of the slums from the nightly intra gang shootings, or the tender eyes from the bodies abandoned in the middle of the street because the morgue is late in picking them up, bodies they must bestride on their way to school in the early morning, or their tender souls as they learn of the funeral services from their murdered neighbor.  But her cynical idiocy has been well established long ago, so let's move on.

To this the editor owner of El Nacional, Miguel Otero, replied that the picture was needed to create a reaction inside the government as people like Izarra, Ramirez or Trosel benefit at tax payer expense of numerous body guards.  Well, he did not say that last part, I did, but Otero did wonder aloud how come Trosel did not show such energy to investigate the rotten food scandal and other such calamities instead of attacking a newspaper.  Incidentally, I watched on Globovision the declarations of Trosel inside the morgue saying that all was fine and that the workers were demanding the law suit against El Nacional.  Well, maybe the morgue is a haven of efficiency now since last December but why not show it?  why forbid Globovision to come in and transmit the images of the inside instead of allowing ONLY AND AS ALWAYS, sympathetic state media to "cover" such news?

But Trosel was out of luck anyway: there is a world championship of women baseball in Caracas this week and the game between the Netherlands and Hong Kong had to be suspended because a Hong Kong player was shot by a stray bullet!  Officials are pondering whether to end the tournament which is already suspended  until further notice.


  1. Charly3:18 AM

    Welcome to Animal Planet.

  2. Bob Sacamano3:46 AM

    I saw the videos of the MF of Izarra laughing, I hate watching all that "video on the web" crappy, pixelated fuzzy images, but there were so many reactions to what he did, that I choose to see it in the end.
    You will excuse me, Daniel, but I believe that the piece of fucking crap of Izarra should be hang with a piece of piano string on Plaza Venezuela.

  3. Brett5:27 AM

    Maybe Wilmer Flores Trosel became Director in 2007. So according to him of course the photo must be from 2006. Not that that would really matters.

  4. Boludo Tejano6:45 AM

    If ignoring the facts about Mr. Chávez is a requirement for sending an ambassador to Caracas, then it would be better not to have one.

    This quote from the WaPo about Thugo's refusing Mr. Palmer as Ambassador to Venezuela for having stated facts about Venezuela reminds me of the response to the morgue picture.

    For being a blunt, rough and tumble sort, Thugo has an aversion to straight talking when that straight talking is directed at him and his stewardship of Venezuela. Yeah, this is really an original unique observation.

  5. Images of reality damage the brains of young people more than living in crime zones of this magnitude ?

    Give me a break.Shame on them for being so cynical that they overlook cleaning the streets of crime and then complain that those who attempt to show the truth in a plea for justice, is damaging.

    We don't get to sue the government for allowing so much crime but we get sued for showing the truth ?

    Until more people stand up and be counted for the truth no matter what the consequences, the principle of injustice will prevail.

  6. Milonga5:15 PM

    Because they have no arguments, their game is obvious: attack the messenger and not the message. Their argument is that the picture violates the intimacy of the individual, while the intimacy is the least of the violations those poor men had violated. Somebody mentioned in Twitter that what the government forgot was that digital pictures keep a register of the date and time taken. But who cares when it was taken? They're trying to "tapar el sol con un dedo" (how does one say that in English?) but clearly been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, it is only a small portion of Venezuelans and a small portion of the world that don't believe this is a right-wing campaign against the glorious revolution!

  7. Anonymous5:57 PM



  9. Milonga6:17 PM

    Izarrita! hahahaha The Communicational guerrilla in action! Burying their heads in the sand (yes, I found out).

  10. Milonga8:21 PM

    The picture was taken December 26, 2009, at 9 hours, 48 minutes and 25 seconds in the morning, with a Canon EOS 40D camera, a 200mm lens, ASA 1.600, diaphragm 2.8, and shutter speed of 1.30. This in answer to the regime's claim that the picture was old. Ignorant as to modern technology, such as communicational warfare paying people to twit or blog against people that do it for free (as if we couldn't see the difference).

  11. WaPo says: "If ignoring the facts about Mr. Chávez is a requirement for sending an ambassador to Caracas, then it would be better not to have one."

    In Venezuela, ignoring the facts about Mr. Chávez is a requirement for any high-ranking position in government. Such people are generally so incompetent it would be better not to have them.


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