When the victims are the weakest, as in Syria and Venezuela

Posted on Actualizado enn

This is translated from a post written by Hector Schamis about the torture of a Wayu child in Maracaibo, reportedly by Maduro’s national guard. The original, in Spanish is here


I translated it to English and put it here so it can serve as a historical reference (this blog doesn’t get many readers). An article in La Verdad, a Maracaibo newspaper, confirms the story, here


Article by Hector follows:

“The genocide in Syria is portrayed by a repeated scene. It is that image in which the target is a child. He is white, a victim and a booty; Those photos say more than a thousand words. They are images that nobody forgets. Even before you can describe them here, the reader will already have made his own mental representation.

This is the case of the drowned child that the sea left on the shore. And that other boy sitting in an ambulance in Aleppo, after being rescued from the rubble. Or those bodies stacked, pale and open-mouthed. Bodies of children massacred without blood, with sarin gas.

In Maduro’s Venezuela, the weakest are the daily victims of his dictatorship

They are images that make you tremble with shame. To return to them is an exercise of reflection as much as of masochism. They’re nauseous, right? It is the repugnance that produces who attacks the weakest, the most vulnerable. To the one who can not defend himself, because he does not know how or why.

There are circumstances in which a species “decides” not to protect its offspring, with or without quotes. It does not only happen in the human species and not only among the Syrians. In fact, infant mortality is higher in Venezuela than in Syria. And it is not the only parallel, because identical symptoms of nausea are experienced when watching the video of the wayu boy of Maracaibo.

At only 11 years old, he himself claimed to have been captured by the National Guard after a protest. He was found by neighbors with his hands tied behind his back, whose purpose was to hold a tear-drop bomb on his back inside his clothing.

The video shows the first and second degree burns in his back and arms, as confirmed by the pediatrician who attended him. In another video is interviewed the mother of the child, who barely speaks Spanish. The Wayú are an ethnic group originally from the peninsula of Guajira in Colombia and Venezuela, Zulia state in the latter.

They are the most important ethnic group, with 11% of the total population of the state of Zulia and representing 65% of the indigenous population of the country. The vast majority of them are poor and do not receive formal education. In addition, they have been historically discriminated against, and in recent times stigmatized by the accusation of “bachaqueros”, a term used with those who profit by reselling essential products.

The case was collected by human rights organizations, especially by CECODAP, an NGO that protects the rights of children and adolescents. Curiously, there is a translation into the Wayu language of the Venezuelan Constitution, which details both indigenous rights and minority rights, but the letter and reality do not always coincide.

And less do they coincide in Maduro’s Venezuela, where the weakest are the daily victims of his dictatorship. The purpose of that of a species that does not protect their offspring, children. That is, the problem of infanticide, a phenomenon studied from various angles: biology, anthropology and psychology, to cite three.

Of course, this is about human rights. The Rome Statute assumes jurisdiction in case of attacks on civilians and in case of torture, codifying them as crimes against humanity, that is, of universal jurisdiction and imprescriptible. This would cover what happened in Syria and Venezuela, but not because of the specific condition of the victims of being minors.

The statute deals with children’s issues by prohibiting the recruitment of children under 15 into the military. Perhaps it is time to introduce an amendment and explicitly stress the non-applicability and universality of jurisdiction in cases of crimes against children. It would not be contradictory with what already exists. It would make it more emphatic.”



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