Nothing good ever comes of dictators getting desperate.
According to Bloomberg, Venezuela’s now illegitimate President Nicholas Maduro is unleashing violence on his people by sending out the police’s elite Special Action Force riding in on motorcycles to attack demonstrators, as well as conducting night raids where “long-standing scores” are settled and homes are robbed.
Bloomberg reported that the death toll by this special police force answering only to Maduro is up to 35 since the demonstrations began:
Known by the Spanish acronym FAES, the Special Action Force is an “extermination group,” said criminologist and lawyer Luis Izquiel. It “responds directly to President Nicolas Maduro.”
The unit, which operates in several cities, was created two years ago and has killed hundreds of people since then, according to the human-rights group Provea. It’s based in Caracas and numbers about 1,000 officers. Izquiel said the military is usually responsible for controlling demonstrations, however, “many soldiers no longer want to be involved in human rights violations, so Maduro has called the FAES.”
Bloomberg reported that the FAES rode into the Jose Felix Ribas neighborhood to hunt for supporters of Juan Guaido, the interim president elected by the Venezuelan National Assembly. According to a woman named Leida, shooting soon began and the sound of an explosion soon followed.
Leida and other witnesses described the activities of the FAES in her neighborhood to Bloomberg:
“Since Jan. 22, every day they get into the slum,” said Leida, who works as a house cleaner. She said they break into houses in search of their quarry and smash whatever is in their path. “They enter armed, and we have even heard grenades. They cover their faces. They have killed six people.”
A young man who also lives in Jose Felix Ribas, who requested anonymity to ensure his safety, said he saw a man’s body on the street as he was walking home Friday. Officers, he said, stopped everyone who walked by.
“They seize you in a violent way, they treat you like the enemy,” he said. “There is no law.”
Director of Provea, Rafael Uzcategui, said that his group verified that eight people were killed by police in their homes.
“In some cases, they have murdered them in front of their relatives,” he said. “The FAES was created to act in situations of extortion or kidnapping. They are trained for lethal attack.”
All of this began with the Venezuelan National Assembly voted to oust Maduro from his position and voted to elect Guaido as President in his place. This was followed by President Donald Trump recognizing Guaido as the true leader of Venezuela, and not Maduro in a public statement.