Santa Elena de Uairen, May 9, 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - Yesterday at noon, Rafael Celestino Albino Arteaga, 44, Vargas state chief of the Venezuelan Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), was shot dead by an unidentified male assailant in a shopping mall in the western city of Maracay.
Arteaga’s killer, witnesses say, pointed a gun at him with the apparent intention of robbing him. After Arteaga turned over all of his possessions, the man shot him twice and then fled.
This marks the second murder of a Venezuelan intelligence officer in recent weeks, the first being Eliecer Otaiza, ex-chief of CIDIP, the national intelligence agency that preceded SEBIN. Otaiza was found dead on April 27th, and his suspected murderer (now in custody) had clear political motives, official sources say.
Authorities believe Arteaga’s murder may have been premeditated and are currently conducting a full investigation.
On Thursday, security forces succeeded in disbanding four of the largest remaining hard-line protest encampments, one of which blocked transit of a major highway. As protestors clashed with police, seven were wounded and one policeman, Jorge Colina, 24, was shot dead by a sniper. Two other police officers were wounded, seemingly by the same shooter.
Of the 243 barricaders apprehended, 12 were immediately released for being underage, 109 were put on probation, 15 were sentenced to rehabilitation programs for drug use, 47 are still on trial for reduced probation sentences, and 11 have been indicted.
Thousands of people in South Sudan have been killed in violence and more than one million people have been forced to leave their homes since December when pro-Kiir troops and those loyal to Machar began to fight along ethnic lines.
The UN’s mission in South Sudan said on Monday hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded after rebel forces took control of the capital of the oil-producing Unity state last week.
Toby Lanzer, the UN’s top humanitarian official in South Sudan, said in Twitter posts late on Sunday that there were shocking scenes of atrocities, with “bodies of people executed” lying in Bentiu’s streets.
Lanzer told Al Jazeera on Monday that people “associated with the opposition” had used an FM radio station to broadcast hate speech in the town.
"With hate speech and violence continuing as they are, we’re going to have an even greater catastrophe on our hands at the end of this year," Lanzer said.
“I think the saddest testament to the current situation is that we have had members of all communities, even those accused of perpetrating these crimes, fleeing to the UN base,” he said.
"We had 5,000 civilians a week ago in our base, now we have 22,000 people. We have just one litre of portable water per person for today."
South Sudan… The next Rwanda?
When wildlife presenter Charlie Hamilton James was asked to help save a tiny slice of the Amazon rainforest, he jumped at the chance. But things didn’t go quite as planned¦
Anyone who believes in rethinking development should give this a quick read…
A staggering 12% of young gay black men in Atlanta are contracting HIV each year, an incidence rate exceeding that of almost all other previously recorded figures in the world’s wealthier nations. At this rate, a sexually active black man who becomes sexually active at age 18 has a 60% chance of becoming HIV positive by the time he hits 30.
Oh. Perhaps this has to do with FAILED FUCKING EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SUPPORT STRUCTURES. #FuckCapitalism
In a recent article, Amnesty International accused the Venezuelan government of a “witch hunt” when a right-wing opposition mayor Daniel Ceballos was arrested.
However, Amnesty has yet to use such strong language against the five weeks of human rights violations people in Venezuela have suffered at the hands of violent opposition sectors. The “witch hunt” term demonises the people’s right to bring such criminals to justice.
In its March 20 statement, “Venezuela: Arrest of local mayor signals potential ‘witch hunt’”, Amnesty says Ceballos, mayor of San Cristobal, capital of Tachira state on the Colombian border, was arrested for his “alleged involvement in anti-government protests … authorities in Venezuela seem to be setting the scene for a witch hunt against opposition leaders”.
It is important to counter the horrendous distortions contained in this article, because the private media will quote its positions as fact. Articles like this embolden the criminals and coup participants who are among opposition leaders. It also makes it harder for those of us who have suffered from opposition violence to demand arrests, and authorities to carry them out.
Mexicali BC, Mexico: “Dia de muertos” protest art in solidarity with migrant workers at the border with Calexico, California, November 1, 2009.
Photo: Revolutionary Autonomous Communities - LA
The most powerful country in the world is today experiencing the erosion of its hegemony. When faced with a similar situation in the past, the U.S reacted by attacking a small country. How might it respond today?
There were and are two possible reactions, then and now, said Ernesto Domínguez, from the University of Havana’s Center for Hemispheric and U.S. Studies (CEHSEU), speaking with Granma: “Assume the decline and attempt to manage it in such a way to preserve a privileged position, or try to detain the process by resorting to the use of force, with several concrete objectives, such as giving a show of power, reaffirming geo-strategic positions, controlling key resources or stimulating the economy with military spending.”"
Caracas, Venezuela: Mural of revolutionary Latin American leaders in Plaza Bolivar.
Photo by Mario Antonio Martinez Martinez