Officers with the National Bolivarian Police (NBP) repressed a student gathering in Caracas today, injuring at least one demonstrator. The students were participating in a march to mark University Student Day.

The NBP fired tear gas at the students. Journalists at the scene captured the moments after a female student sustained an injury, apparently to her right cheek. In the video below, the journalists speculate that the injury was caused by a tear gas canister:

Below, images of the student receiving medical care:

The video below shows the same student receiving medical attention for her injury:

In the video below, a student fires up his colleagues with a chant:

Quienes somos? [Estudiantes!] (Who are we? [Students!])
Que queremos? [Libertad!] (What do we want? [Freedom!])

75% of Caracas Residents Lack Reliable Water Service

The Fundacion Tierra Viva [Live Earth Foundation] and the Coalicion Clima21 [Climate21 Coalition] held a forum today in which they provided statistics on water accessibility in Venezuela.

According to the NGOs, 75% of Caracas residents do not have reliable water service, while 98% say that they are in some way affected by water rationing regimes.

The figures bring into sharp relief the effects that the crisis has on every facet of life in Venezuela, including access to water. Years of mismanagement and corruption at every level of Venezuelan governance have left the country’s infrastructure in a state of prolonged decay.

Isabel Novo, a researcher Tierra Viva, also said that there were 1,391 protests in Caracas related to basic services in the first trimester of the year, and that 514 of those were related to water service. She said:

There isn’t a single parish in Caracas that has not seen protests related to water.

Novo also highlighted the fact that failures in water infrastructure affect not only residents but also institutions, and that 79% of Caracas hospitals do not have reliable water service at their installations.

SEBIN Officers Move Ivan Simonovis

Officers with the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional [National Bolivarian Intelligence Service] (SEBIN) congregated at the home of one of Venezuela’s most prominent political prisoners, Ivan Simonovis, and briefly transferred him to one of their offices in Caracas,

At 6:15 AM local time, Simonovis’ wife–Bony–posted a video on her Twitter account showing a large group of SEBIN officers taking her husband away. When Bony asked the officers for the judicial order that authorized Simonovis’ transport, the officers refused to provide one.

The video shows a resigned Simonovis getting into a SEBIN vehicle calmly.

Below, the video along with my translation:

Officer 1: We’re going to the main office in Plaza Venezuela to do some tests.

Bony: Are you taking him to El Helicoide [the infamous SEBIN prison] in Plaza Venezuela?

Officer 1: No, no. The Tower in Plaza Venezuela.

Officer 2: The Tower in Plaza Venezuela.

Bony: And the judicial order?

Officer 1: No, no, well…

Bony: There’s no judicial order?

Officer 1: [unintelligible] last night. They called for him directly.

Ivan: Where do I go? In here? [Enters SUV]

Bony: They’re taking Ivan Simonovis from his home right now without judicial authorization.

Simonovis was returned to his home shortly before noon.

Bony explained that, since the SEBIN is under new leadership, all political prisoners are currently undergoing medical examinations, presumably as part of an initiative to update their files.

Simonovis ran afoul of the Chavez government during the 2002 coup d’etat. Simonovis, who was at the time a police officer in Caracas, was arrested in 2004 in connection to the event, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2009.


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

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