Tachira state governor Jose Vielma Mora told Telesur today that 1,012 Colombians had been deported from Tachira state over the last few days.

Last night, Vielma Mora said in an interview with VTV that nearly 800 people had been deported, and that the government was taking all the necessary steps to ensure that no human rights violations were taking place.

Below, a video of Vielma Mora’s comments to VTV last night, along with my translation:

Vielma Mora: We want to also say that today – between yesterday and today – we’ve handed over 791 people to the Consulate General of Colombia. We’ve handed them over as the law commands: without any abuses, humiliation and torture, to a place where they have some tents, chairs, water and food. They were taken in a bus to the border between Colombia and Venezuela without any kind of abuse. In fact, everyone was sitting down.

Vielma Mora said that the utmost care was being taken to ensure that children were not being separated from their parents, and that:

… we are saving families in a border area who are victims to paramilitarism, violence, slavery and sexual exploitation.

Today, the Colombian government said that out of the 751 deported Colombian citizens it had received in Cucuta, 612 were adults and 139 were children. Out of that number, 514 are currently housed in temporary shelters in Cucuta.

The deportations come in the wake of a presidential decree declaring a “state of exception” in five municipalities in Tachira state.

Santos: Colombia Will be Firm in Defense of Citizens

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said today that Colombia would be firm in her defense of its citizens in Venezuela. During a press conference earlier today, Santos said:

We do not lack – nor will we lack – firmness in our defense of our citizens, wherever their security is threatened or their fundamental rights are violated.

Santos also said that any solution to the issue would have to be diplomatic, since he believes that non-diplomatic confrontations do not “yield satisfactory results”.

Cucuta Scrambles to House Deportees

The mayor of Cucuta, Donamaris Lobo, has been documenting through Twitter his city’s efforts to provide adequate care to the hundreds of deportees who have been arriving from Venezuela since last week.

Lobo’s Twitter feed shows him overseeing shelter operations and welcoming deportees into the city:

In images tweeted earlier today, Lobo appears to speak to some of the affected individuals inside a makeshift shelter erected inside a sports arena:

El Aissami Gives Details on State of Exception 

Earlier today, Aragua state governor Tareck El Aissami explained that the decree – numbered 1.950 – suspends six rights guaranteed in the constitution for a period of at least 60 days, with the possibility of a 60 day extension. The rights are found in the following Articles of the Constitution:

  • Article 47: The right against warrantless searches of your home and property.
  • Article 48: The right against warrantless wiretaps of private conversations.
  • Article 50: Freedom to travel about within national borders.
  • Article 53: The right to peaceful assembly.
  • Article 68: The right to peaceful protest.
  • Article 112: The freedom to engage in any profession one chooses within the limits of the law.

El Aissami said that Maduro could “decree other measures… he deems convenient”, and that the government was steadfast to “the supremacy of human rights”.

Disturbance at Puerto Ordaz Bicentenario Ends with Shooting

A protest outside the Bicentenario supermarket in Puerto Ordaz, Bolivar state resulted in a shooting yesterday. While details are scarce, La Patilla reports that a crowd of people had been sleeping outside the supermarket overnight in anticipation of the arrival of a truck carrying food. The truck arrived yesterday afternoon, but for some reason its contents were not immediately unloaded and sold, which angered the crowd.

Below, some shots of the event yesterday:

The video below captured the moment when the shooting began. As the video begins, the men filming it briefly describe the scene leading up to the moment shots are fired:

Puerto Ordaz is located near San Felix, which was the scene of a looting spree that left one man dead a few weeks back. Together, Puerto Ordaz and San Felix make up Ciudad Guayana.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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