Five seminary school students were beaten and stripped naked by a pro-government armed group in Merida, Merida state last yesterday. The attack happened at an opposition event organized by Lilian Tintori, Leopoldo Lopez’s wife.
La Patilla reports that a colectivo armado [the colloquial name for pro-government armed groups] showed up at the event on motorcycles, and blocked the Don Tulio Febres Cordero road. The opposition supporters were scheduled to demonstrate on that road.
Once the two sides met, the colectivo attack the opposition demonstrators. The colectivo beat five students from the San Buenaventura Seminary school, and stripped them naked on the street, and allegedly shoved them inside a sewer.
Lilian Tintori reacted to the attack by saying:
We condemn the humiliating treatment against the five youths who were stripped naked, beaten and shoved into a sewer. We call on Nicolas Maduro, [People’s Defender] Tarek William Saab, and [Attorney General] Luisa Ortega Diaz to increase security in this area. These are colectivos armados. If something happens [to opposition members/supporters], it will be your responsibility. Withdraw the colectivos armados and stop persecuting and intimidating. Stop filling those Venezuelans who believe in rescuing our country with terror.
The picture below shows at least one of the victims inside what appears to be a sewer. The student is presumably surrounded by his attackers (courtesy of Noticiero Digital):
Below, an image of three of the students running through the streets, presumably after the attack:
An image showing the injuries sustained by one of the students:
Foreign Liquid Reserves Hit $61 Million
The Inter-American Trends firm has released its latest economic report on Venezuela, revealing that the country’s foreign liquid reserves – that is, the cash that it has “on-hand” – fell 31% from May 30 to June 30 to $61 million. The total value of all foreign reserves remained relatively stable in June at $12.08 billion.
Some more economic statistics for the month of June:
- The Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) spent $387 million in imports, and $80 million in debt.
- PDVSA sold $429 million to the BCV.
Given the country’s anemic economic figures, Inter-American Trends suspects that the BCV will continue to swap its gold reserves – which sit at 242 metric tons – for liquid assets.
Economy Chief: World Sees Gov’t Policies “Favorably”
Miguel Perez Abad, the man in charge of Venezuela’s economy, said today that the scarcity crisis affecting food, medicine and other basic necessities would improve in the coming months once Venezuela is able to start producing the scarce products.
Abad said that the Venezuelan government had cut non-essential imports by 60% this year with the goal of stimulating local production, and that foreign investors have a favourable opinion of the Maduro administration’s policies, which he expects will result in more investment in the years to come.
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