Over the past four months, I have been working in collaboration with the Bellingcat Investigation Team and Forensic Architecture to paint the fullest picture possible of Oscar Perez’s last stand in El Junquito on January 15 of this year.
The project was published today on Bellingcat (in English and in Spanish), and includes a 3D chronological reconstruction of the raid made by Forensic Architecture. Our Venezuelan partners–Efecto Cocuyo, El Pitazo and Armando.Info— are featuring the report on their respective websites. I also co-authored an op-ed on The New York Times with my partner in the project, Aliaume Leroy.
In order to complete the project, we collected open-source information in the form of images, videos, tweets, and audio recordings of the raid in El Junquito, which took place on January 15 and left nine people dead.
While our results are not conclusive, we did find strong evidence to suggest that Perez and his six companions were executed by Venezuelan security forces after they had surrendered. We are certain that the Venezuelan authorities acknowledged Perez’s repeated claims that he wanted to surrender. We are also certain that at a point late in the operation, the Venezuelan authorities understood that Perez was surrendering, and were acting accordingly.
However, minutes later, Perez and his six companions were all dead. All but one had been shot through the head.
Working on this report made me gain a new perspective on the incredible work that Venezuelan journalists are doing, in the most adverse conditions possible. We could not have concluded this report without their tireless efforts to uncover the truth and reveal it to others.
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