Caracas, November 28, 2007
(venezuelanalysis.com) – Neighbors, friends and family members of young worker
and supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, José Anibal Oliveros Yépez,
who was murdered by a radical opposition group in the regional city of Valencia
on Monday, have express profound rage and indignation at what occurred
explaining that his body was spat on and kicked by his killers, "as if he were
Oliveres, 19 years old, was
on his way to work driving a truck of state owned "socialist" housing company
Petrocasa when he encountered opposition groups blocking the road in protest
against proposed constitutional reforms. When he tried to convince them to let
him pass he was shot several times and died before he could be rescued.
Radio YVKE Mundial reported
that the opposition protesters came from Cuidad Alianza, a middle class suburb
and blocked a highway to impede workers from Petrocasa from passing to the
poorer neighborhood of Araguita, where they were
working to construct housing for the poor. However, the report noted many of
the neighbors from Cuidad Alianza also rejected the violent behavior of some of
the opposition groups.
A resident from
Cuidad Alianza who did not want to be named told Radio YVKE Mundial that the opposition groups had blocked the road to
Araguita from three o'clock in the morning and were patrolling the neighborhood
"with guns in hand."
Alexander Borges, friend and
workmate of Oliveros explained to VTV that they tried to rescue Oliveros, but
were prevented by the protestors who threatened to kill them.
"There were four of us,
trying to carry our friend to the community, but they surrounded us throwing
bottles. I took the opportunity to move him [Oliveros] because they were going
to hit him with a bottle in the face and I moved him so it did not hit him in
the face. He had one bullet in the leg, a man from the local community was
going to carry him, but in this moment they shot him twice in the back and this
is when he fell to the ground."
"We pleaded with them for the
life of our friend that was lying bloody on the ground, to please allow us the
opportunity to pick him up and they responded that now they were coming for us,
that they were coming for me," Borges added.
Borges explained that two
other people came to help rescue Oliveros, but that the opposition supporters
threw rocks and bottles at them screaming, "Come and pick up your dead, now we
are coming for you."
Dixon Viloria, also a friend
of Oliveros and a witness said that after they killed him, "they mal-treated
him, kicked him, stripped off his clothes, hit him and screamed ‘pick up your
dead chicken!' as if he was an animal."
Beltran Chavez, from Araguita
said that neighbors from Cuidad Alianza had shot at workers from Petrocasa
earlier when they tried to pass through to construction sites in Araguita. He
said the same group of protesters had previously set alight to a truck from
Petrocasa and physically and verbally attacked a group of women from Araguita.
"How can a group of people be
better armed than the state and municipal police," he asked. He added that
thanks to the municipal and state police the four people that participated in
the act were captured."
National Assembly Deputy
Francisco Ameliach and the Mayor of Guacara, José Manuel Flores, who visited
the neighborhood to pay their respects to the Oliveros' family, reported that
opposition groups in Ciudad Alianza that claim to represent "civil society"
have marked the houses of Chavez supporters, or those they believe to be Chavez
supporters, with red paint and "have said they are going to kill them."
Vice president Jorge
Rodriguez confirmed that the Oliveros' killer had been identified and arrested
and has confessed to the crime, reportedly saying that all "Chavistas" should
be killed, as well as three other people also linked to his death. Rodrgiuez
said that simultaneously coordinated opposition protests of small groups had
blocked other highways with burning objects in Valencia
and Maracay. In
total 80 people were arrested.
Rodriguez has also asked the
Venezuelan Episcopal Conference to explain what they know about a meeting held
by the opposition in the Diocesan Insitute in Maracay where the violent protests are
alleged to have been planned.
Rodriguez said he has witness
testimony of people who were invited to the meeting in the Diocesan Institute
to "pray for peace" however; when they arrived they found the meeting was
planning the protest in Ciudad Alianza that resulted in the death of Oliveros.
Rodriguez said the Catholic
hierarchy should remember the commandments not to lie and not to kill and said
the Church should explain to the Venezuelan people why their buildings are
being used to plan these types of protests.
Friends and family of Oliveros
also condemned Venezuelan and international media reporting of his death,
particularly opposition private TV channel Globovision, which they say tried to
portray Oliveros as insane, and some international media that have tried to
obscure the events leading to Oliveros death, some even claiming that Oliveros
was an opposition supporter attacked by a "pro-Chavez mob."
Gladys Yépez, mother of
Oliveros demanded justice for her only son and President Hugo Chavez has
responded saying the murderer of Oliveros should face the "full weight of the