Marvinia

All because of a broken fingernail

(A reader sends us this translation of an interview with Marvinia Jiménez that appeared in El Carabobeño, a Valencia daily, a few weeks ago. Marvinia was brutally attacked at a protest, and is now charged with assaulting an officer) From El Carabobeño: Marvinia Jimenez, who was born with low mobility in half her body, has…

sebin

Se llamaba SEBIN

Last friday, a SEBIN officer died in a showdown with Polichacao in the Prados del Este Highway. (SEBIN is the Venezuelan government intelligence service, while Polichacao is the municipal police force of opposition-controlled Chacao municipality) Polichacao claims it was responding to a kidnapping. SEBIN says Polichacao just opened fire without warning and that they were escorting…

gnb rivero  (4)

State of Surveilance

Beyond the never ending tear gas and rubber buckshot, it turns out the security forces have a second line of defense against the protests. Both the National Guard and the Bolivarian National Police (under orders of the Defense and Interior Ministries) are using spying tactics to infiltrate protests and identify its leaders. This excellent report…

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Notes on the Venezuelan Media Blackout

In a recent nationwide broadcast of a Peace Summit between the Government and some opposition people (none of the actors involved in the current crisis attended), Venevisión’s Carlos Bardasano, speaking on behalf of private media, gave a brief speech: “I believe everything has been said, you can count on the private media to help build…

leopoldo-lopez-430

Sanity from the Prosecutor General

In a rare bout of justice, Venezuela’s Prosecutor General has charged five government intelligence agents with the murder of two people on February 12th. The two people in question are student Bassil Da Costa and chavista activist Juan Montoya. Initially, government blogs had said the opposition had killed Montoya. Government paramilitary gangs known as “colectivos”…

Plaza Altamira, February 15

Torture, Rape and Ransom

As the student protests continue, shocking stories of the detained are hitting social media and some news outlets. Detainees are not allowed to see their family members, some students have been beaten, shocked with electricity, doused with gasoline and threatened to be set on fire. There are personal accounts of detained students being stripped of their clothing…

venganza-obrera

La Terrorista

Oh “La venganza de la Obrera” How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love the faces of the men aghast with the piropos that you say. I love those that stammer and look at you with a bright red face. I love the ones that smile meekly and then quicken the…

Humanrights

HRW “unlikes” Maduro

The 2014 World Report from Human Rights Watch just came out. Let’s just say the chapter on Venezuela is not too friendly with the government. Among its many money quotes, we find: “The Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council rejected appeals filed by the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, challenging the results.” “For example,…

Economic cyberwar, cont.

CONATEL is continuing its Internet offensive against the “parallel dollar”, with the shutdown of more than 100 sites related to the black market. But looks like they decided to take the ongoing crackdown one step further. Enter URL shortening service Bitly. Apparently, it was used as a possible shortcut for those websites. So, the obvious response…

Economic cyberwar

Missing in the news whirlpool of the last few days was the recent online crackdown to shut down websites that informed (directly or indirectly) the prices of the black market foreign currency. Last weekend, CONATEL opened an administrative investigation against eight Internet Service Providers and ordered them to take down those websites ASAP. So far,…