Warning: This update contains graphic images.
A 16-year-old boy lost his vision yesterday during a protest in Tachira state after state police officers shot him in the face with rubber pellets.
Rufo Antonio Chacon Parada was at a protest that had formed in San Cristobal over the lack of gasoline in the city yesterday evening. According to Chacon’s mother, her son was not participating in the protest: he was merely in the vicinity of the event while it was taking place.
National Assembly deputy Juan Carlos Palencia shared a video of the moment when the Tachira state police officers opened fire on the crowd of protesters:
Chacon’s mother, Adriana Parada, spoke to reporters from San Cristobal’s Hospital Central about what happened to her son:
Parada: … my son is not well. He’s lost his vision. He had surgery at 1:00 AM. They [the doctors] finished taking out all of this [pellets] from his eyes. He’s lost it all. Both eyes. My son’s face is completely disfigured. He’s got shrapnel–they’ve ruined my son’s life. My son wants to die. He’s just woken up. He doesn’t want anything to do with life.
His life was–he was a child who, honestly, he was no guarimbero [a derogatory term for opposition protester] because he never left the house. He was just helping me get gas. What happened was that we were there, and Mr. Victor–the gasoline man here in San Cristobal–that man, he went there three times saying that he would help us–
Opposition ambassador to the United States Carlos Vecchio shared two images of Chacon: one taken at the scene of the protest, and the other taken apparently in hospital:
Attorney General Tarek William Saab has announced that two Tachira state police officers, Javier Useche Blanco and Henry Ramirez Hernandez, have been arrested in connection with the case.
Guaido Says No Talks With Maduro
Juan Guaido confirmed yesterday that the opposition will not be meeting representatives from the Maduro regime for new talks, after reports surfaced late last week suggesting that a new set of negotiations was imminent.
Guaido reminded reporters today at the National Assembly that the opposition had “not made an official statement” regarding its participation in the talks, and called reports to the contrary “speculation”.
The possibility of a new round of talks appears to have been brought to a complete halt by the killing of captain Acosta Arevalo, who died after spending eight days in regime custody showing “serious signs of torture”.
Today, Guaido again referenced Acosta’s killing, saying that it was evidence that the Maduro regime is “murders”, and that it “uses torture”.
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