Shooting Monday in Caracas Leaves Three Dead

A man and a woman were killed by firearms during a shooting in the early morning of this Monday, June 14, in the Andres Eloy sector of La Vega, Libertador municipality, Caracas, according to police sources. Guillermo José Gregorio Belisario, 50 years old, and Yoraima Margarita Díaz Araujo, 47 years old, were the victims, the source said.

In the afternoon of this Monday, a third person was reported deceased. This individual’s identity is in the process of being verified.

Last weekend 1,420 officials of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) were deployed in La Vega in an operation called Liberation and Protection, as explained by the Minister of Interior and Justice, Carmen Meléndez. There, 38 people were arrested and three pistols and four rifles were seized, including a sniper rifle, a submachine gun, and two .22-caliber rifles, in addition to two kilograms of C4 explosives and 202 bullets, among other items, Meléndez reported.

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After that operation, 12 police posts remained at the site to reinforce surveillance in the area. This Monday, these posts contained an advance by criminal groups from Cota 905. It was in the midst of this operation that the two deaths occurred.

The containment work carried out by the PNB is an effort to stop a new push by La Vega’s criminal gangs, which are an extension of the organization founded by Carlos Calderón (El Vampi) and led by two criminal operators identified as Carlos Revette (El Coqui) and Garbys Ochoa (El Garbys).

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The leaders of the criminal gang, known as Banda del Coqui [Coqui Gang] according to local media, ordered an advance towards La Vega, to a site where they intended to “cool down” kidnapping victims, according to the investigations. The order to mobilize was given by El Vampi to his henchmen, by firing gunshots from the mountainous area surrounding La Vega.

Paramilitary groups
Two ministers made statements about the criminal organization led by alias El Vampi. For Minister Carmen Meléndez, these are “paramilitary groups,” a label that frequently refers to Colombian criminal organizations.

The label of “paramilitary groups” was used for the first time by a high-level government official to refer to the gang that operates in Cota 905, with ambitions of taking La Vega. Meléndez used this expression when she announced the operation in La Vega over the weekend “as part of the liberation plan from the paramilitary groups that have been affecting this community.”

For his part, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said that these groups seek to destabilize. “These criminal formations are deliberately financed by non-governmental structures and money from drug trafficking and other sources, in order to destabilize the population and police agencies through intimidation and harassment,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “Peace will prevail!”


Featured image: Venezuelan law enforcement agents during a police operation in a Caracas neighborhood. Referential file photo.

(Últimas Noticias) by Eligio Rojas

Translation: Orinoco Tribune






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