Police authorities announced today that of the seven people who were killed in yesterday’s police raid on the Torre Viasa in Caracas, three were the subject of arrest warrants. El Universal, citing a “police source”, reported today that the deceased belonged to a gang that “committed robbery, theft and murder” in different areas of Caracas.

The newspaper also reports that the raid resulted in a firefight in the building’s 11th floor. After the firefight, the police allegedly found seven firearms.

According to El Universal, the deceased individuals were:

  1. Johan Alberto Mijares Izquiel
  2. Vladimir de Jesus Gonzales Garcia
  3. Asley Jose Flores Rodriguez
  4. Johanni Jose Rica Gil
  5. Alexis Richard Lozada
  6. Unknown male nicknamed “El Negro”
  7. Unknown male niccknamed “El Goajiro”

The raid was carried out by members of the National Bolivarian Police’s Fuerzas de Acciones  Especiales [Special Action Forces] (FAES).

Earlier this year, Runrun.es published a report outlining some of the abuses committed by FAES officers in the conduct of their duties. According to the report, FAES officers have killed 560 people and conducted 44 massacres (an encounter resulting in 4 or more deaths) since July 2015. Citing the relatives of some of the deceased, the report highlights how FAES officers executed individuals, many of whom were innocent, as part of a security initiative called Operacion Liberacion del Pueblo.

Despite Regime Hype, Vuelta a la Patria Fizzles

Earlier this year, the Maduro regime launched an initiative called Plan Vuelta a la Patria, which made arrangements to transport Venezuelans who have migrated from the country back to their homes.

According to the regime’s own figures, 9,360 Venezuelans have opted to participate in the Plan to return to Venezuela since its inception in August of this year. The figure represents a mere 0.003% of the total number of Venezuelans who have left the country in recent years, a figure which the United Nations has calculated to be 3,000,000.

The Plan Vuelta a la Patria is at its heart a propaganda tool, since regime officials fixate on the few instances on which Venezuelans return to the country through the Plan as evidence that the Maduro regime is ultimately a benevolent one.

For example, in the tweet below, Maduro calls on “Venezuelans living abroad who are vulnerable” to “join the Plan Vuelta a la Patria” and come home:

In the tweet below, Maduro says that “the only country in the world that listens to its people abroad” and makes arrangements to bring them back home is Venezuela:

Plan Vuelta a la Patria plays a key role in the regime’s public relations offensives, since the Maduro regime continues to maintain that there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. By suggesting that those Venezuelans who have left the country are lining up to come home in droves, the regime perpetuates this argument.

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

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