On July 27, five compañeros and one compañera, who were members of La Corriente and the Hugo Chávez Popular Defense Brigades, were massacred. The incident occurred at kilometer 12 of the Ticoporo Forest Reserve, in the municipality of Sucre in the state of Barinas.
As soon as the crime took place and the news spread, there was unanimous rejection, condemnation, and the demand for investigation and justice. Social and political organizations, parties, political leaders, journalists and digital communicators raised their voices with great force. PSUV vice-president Diosdado Cabello also joined this rejection at a press conference. The governors of Apure and Barinas did the same through Twitter.
In addition to the public expressions in the media, social networks and the Internet, there were also important reflections, analyses, demonstrations of solidarity and demands for justice, carried out in the Acts in Honour of the TICOPORO MARTYRS that we carried out in the Ticoporo Forest Reserve and in the Cultural Center of the Central Park in Caracas. The following is a summary of these statements.
Kevin Rangel, CRBZ:
For us it is important to put the Ticoporo Massacre into context, to analyze the elements, because many times the actions that are being carried out from the border to this area are not properly evaluated. We want to incorporate this into the discussion, so that from the popular movement we also have it under our microscope.
Because this is not a coincidence. For us, this massacre is the result of an operation that involves greater depth. This is related to the aggression with which U.S. imperialism is advancing in a low-intensity war. There is a reactivation of paramilitarism as an instrument to occupy territory. Compañeros, compañeras, those who know the border area can see the activities from January to the present time where paramilitarism has reactivated. A few days ago they carried out actions against the Armed Forces, against collectives that defend sovereignty. It is important that Chavismo, the popular movement, be alert to this situation.
The Ticoporo Massacre, for us there is no doubt, comes from these sectors. Mercenary sectors contracted, in the first place, by the right-wing cattle ranchers. A right that days ago developed a strike where they tried to barricade the highways, where they dumped milk, and were confronted by us. Our murdered comrades were standing up to protect the producers who refused to participate in the strike carried out in June by the cattle ranchers’ associations in Socopó. They were at the front line to stop the guarimbas that, a strike called by the cattle ranchers’ associations linked to paramilitarism attempted in June. They were there to open the highways so that the producers could take the food to Caracas, to the big cities, so that they could pass the food to our people. Those producers who refused to participate in the strike were threatened by mercenary groups that are operating in the area, that are being reactivated, that are being financed by the same groups that closed Socopó, that overthrew, demolished the police command in 2017, that are connected with the plan that the Venezuelan right began in January.
The Popular Defense Brigades acted in 2017 helping to liberate the town of Socopó, besieged by the fascist right, by Popular Will, by Justice First, with paramilitary violence. The brigades in recent months defended the territory from paramilitarism, mercenaries, and gangs operating in the areas. These comrades and our organization have been advancing in different ways, politically, territorially and productively. Hence the attacks by those who see their interests threatened. It is not only the paramilitary mafias, there is an operation in progress of occupying territory, of gaining political will, of gaining consciousness in favour of the interests of imperialism. This is what keeps us on our toes. There is a permanent dispute over the territory, and we are alert in defense of our sovereignty. We are alert because what they are trying to do is engage in a scenario of selective assassinations, of social leaders, of Chavista leaders.
Those of us who are militants in the current are not deterred, we are not demobilized. We are going to continue building sovereignty, defending sovereignty and reconstructing the political project of Comandante Chávez from the territory, with the communes, with the communal movement, with the peasants, workers, with the women’s movement.
Long live the martyrs of Ticoporo!
Long live the martyrs of Bocas de Río Viejo!
Long live the martyrs, victims of the guarimbas!
Long live the Bolivarian Revolution, long live Comandante Chávez, long live the popular movement in unity!
Johander Pineda, Socialist Commune of El Maizal:
For us the news was quite a shock because they are our people. It hurts us because the people killed are people on the ground, grassroots people, who are fighting and battling in a territory. At four o’clock in the morning a bus left for Barinas, about twenty-five community members from the commune of El Maizal went to the Ticoporo ceremony in solidarity with the current and, of course, with our fallen comrades, who have been gone one week today.
We are demonstrating unity at this moment. We want unity because it is extremely necessary, because, just as the gringos have a hybrid war against us, just as those gringos are determined to eliminate us, to eliminate Chavismo, there are people who have infiltrated our institutions, our spaces of power, who are trying to make this project fail. Based on this, we in the commune of El Maizal ask for unity, to clear perhaps those differences that we have between organizations, because this is a single struggle.
We are living in a historical moment, a moment in which our revolution is in danger. They are attacking our youth, and today we see how the youth are being attacked, they have left the country because of the economic situation, but we have a task, and the task at this moment is to support these young comrades from the grassroots, these boys, these children, these little seeds. The commune of El Maizal will be present in each one of the activities that will be held at the national level to strengthen, to grow and to learn from you compatriots as well. Overcoming is necessary to win.
Juan Carlos Loyo:
Thank you, compañeros and compañeras, for allowing these words. I thought for a moment about what we are experiencing, why we are here. There is no doubt in my mind that, from the grassroots, from the space of the left, when we stand here confronted with this situation, a great difference is that we do not come to mourn the dead, we come to reclaim and fight for life. This is a first point I would like to highlight. For the left, it was always problematic to build on a particular component that Commander Chávez fused and developed. The spiritual component. From the diversity of each one, from the beliefs that each one may have, we are here to proclaim life. In this case, the life of 6 combatants, for they died in a region about which I would like to say several things. The first element in our being here is spiritual accompaniment. It is customary in some acts to ask for a minute of silence in commemoration of death. I would like us to dedicate a minute of applause for the lives of these 6 combatants of Ticoporo.
When Venezuela says that it faces an unconventional war, some may believe that the term “unconventional” softens it, it becomes something common to say. Our country is facing a war. It’s just that unlike what we normally see in movies, it’s not a war where you see marines, aircraft carriers, military aircraft, etc. It is a war that is carried out by other means, but it is a war against the country. In this case the military doctrine of the United States calls it a hybrid war. Where does the notion of hybrid war come from? Hybrid warfare involves all possible fronts. In this case the purpose is not only to overthrow the Bolivarian project, to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro, but to control the country, which more than a decade ago began a process of liberation, of national development and which today finds us in the midst of that struggle. When we say hybrid war, we are not only talking about the concrete expressions that we live daily, in this case economic war or some other manifestation. Hybrid war also has a territorial component. In this case, what is happening in Ticoporo, once a famous forest reserve that was degraded during the Fourth Republic until it became a space for deforestation.
A few years ago, together with people from the Corriente, an investigative brigade was established, an insurrection was carried out on an area of 20,000 hectares, which in the past was a forest reserve, and which little by little was occupied, and the first thing we discovered, was that the timber exploiters, exploiters dedicated to illegal trade, were criminal gangs linked to paramilitarism. And there was a great aggression against the small farmer, who occupied the land, who lived there and they made it appear as if it was the deforester. The peasant logic is to take care of life, to care for the life of the space where they live.
The area is very complex, so much so that in recent years we have been warned that the people of Voluntad Popular, the criminal group Voluntad Popular, have a hold. And that grip was connected to the framework of the hybrid war, to the struggle for territory, to something that had been dormant in our space, that was the connection of paramilitarism alive in the north of Santander as military gangs employed to subvert the internal order of our country. Thus, the context in which our six comrades lost their lives was one of struggle and defense for our sovereignty. The struggle for our territory and the struggle for the State of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The third topic I would like to address, very briefly in this message, is what do we do? And with the greatest respect I would like to express the following. This moment serves to reaffirm the need for peasant unity, unity in diversity. Unity in different criteria, unity in different positions. Unity to face any type of international aggression and unity to confront the conflicts that we are experiencing which, obviously, are present here. Unity above all to understand that for no reason in the world can we allow actions against life to continue. And therefore the defense of the Revolution and the Bolivarian government, under our President Nicolás Maduro, is today an imperative that all organizations from different positions, whether critical or not, must maintain and develop in depth. Because in the end, if we do not defend life, what will be coming from outside is death.
Greetings to the comrades in Ticoporo, and thank you very much.
Anacaona Marín, Patriotic Force Alexis Vive:
From the Patriotic Force Alexis Vive, from the Socialist commune El Panal 21, beyond expressing a message of solidarity, a message of indignation, of consternation, we watched the video and we know what it feels like. We have lived through the scenario of losing a comrade, of having fallen comrades. It can be compared to the death, to the loss of a family member. Beyond indignation, there is the knowledge of what we are confronting. They are going to come and they are going to come with everything and that is why increasingly each day our preparation, perseverance and determination must be greater.
The effort and dedication of our comrades cannot be in vain. This can happen to any of us. We are all in danger, exposed. But we know that our pulse will not tremble when it comes to defending our homeland. Like them, our fallen must be vindicated every day in the hope of the people, in the smile of the children, in the embrace of the grandparents, in our daily struggle.
It will be up to us to make sure that their struggle was not in vain. From the Patriotic Force Alexis lives all solidarity, all love, all commitment to their struggle and to the struggles of the People.
Chávez Vive, the struggle continues!
Oliver Rivas, La Otra Escuela:
From La Otra Escuela we express our solidarity for the cause of the compañeros and compañeras of the Revolutionary Current Bolívar and Zamora as one of the many organic expressions of the popular movement. In addition to different experiences and moments, different struggles, we are also friends. In so many circumstances we have met and embraced and encouraged each other to move forward, difficult moments like in 2002 and 2003, when this process was seriously disputed and the country almost paralyzed, and from that moment on there have been many casualties and setbacks in this struggle.
One thing that is true for us, that is fundamentally is true, besides sending condolences to our comrades and their families, is to vindicate our comrades. Although these compañeros, this compañera, surely did not imagine that this would be their fate, they probably would not have backed down either, surely they would not have stopped doing what they were doing if they knew that this was going to be their destiny. That is precisely what we must reflect upon and be motivated by. Such comrades would no doubt not have stepped back, retreated, or anything else. We can’t do it either, above all because for us this is not something isolated, it is not something different from what is happening with the economy. Violence just like the economic blockade, like the economic blackmail of the powerful of this country, is also one of the three key strategies that imperialism has to besiege the Venezuelan people. A violence that intimidates, deters, that prevents the people from controlling strategic positions held by the bourgeoisie, by the landowning class of this country, that seeks to isolate, occupy territories to guarantee displacement through the corridors of Apure, Táchira and various sectors of the country from the border. Paramilitary forces, irregulars, come to participate in the massacre and looting against the Venezuelan people. The same goes for the blockade, the same goes for the looting.
Now the fictitious prosecutor who named the self-appointed one this year is also the advisor to a multinational mining company that is complicit in stealing the resources of the State, the archives of the State, it is a shameless looting against the people in which violence is nothing but a tool to allow the demons to be unleashed here and to finish with the stroke of a pen as they did with Libya that was destroyed. In one week ancient Mesopotamia was completely destroyed.
We are here to tell you that whatever the cost, we who are here, our comrades, the organizations, the movements will surely be in this battle and where necessary. The truth is, comrades, that each and every one of the struggles that express the defense of popular interests at this moment, that express the interests of the majority, is going to find resistance in the allied bureaucracy of the oligarchic sectors and of the bourgeoisie that has strengthened itself, that has gained from the economic war of the last four years, which is not a lie at all. Faced with this, it is obvious that our commitment is never to back down, neither to disregard or deny what we have achieved during the last twenty years. On the contrary, it is necessary to reach the final consequences, because at this moment the scenarios are clear: it is either us or them, the bourgeoisie, the landed oligarchy and its allies in the bureaucracy of the State, the judicial mafias acting in the prosecutor’s office, which Attorney Luisa Ortega left, undoubtedly many of those elements in action and obviously seeking to destroy Chavismo.
They need Chavismo to do the work that they haven’t been able to complete, which is why they are insistently looking for a rupture in Chavismo, and this happens because we have witnessed isolated activities carried out by security forces that illegally seize people, commit arbitrary acts, which of course can only generate mistrust and skepticism on the part of the popular movement toward these security forces. But, furthermore, a fundamental objective directed towards the government, towards any leadership or the institutions of the State, which implies that Venezuela is the failed state and, after that, intervention.
This is where we tell the murderers who have always persecuted and tortured our people, those who have besieged them, those who are paying for sicariato, those who are supporting the paramilitary mafias who are also the sons of the bachaqueo, because in the end the work of the Revolutionary Current Bolívar and Zamora, of the commune of El Maizal, of the Patriotic Force Alexis Vive and of many other people who are organized here, are the ones who can fight head-on against the strongest ally they have, which is the market. There the comrades are demonstrating that it is possible to substitute capitalism for the path of socialism from below, organized, planned and directly from the commune, from the poor people, from grassroots power. This then is what we must continue to promote.
Without further ado, our condolences, our solidarity, but above all also our hope that those deaths were not in vain, that those comrades did not plow in the sea and that here will grow a generation that with all the sacrifices made by the Venezuelan people in these twenty years, which have not been few, will carry the unitary socialist legacy of Hugo Chávez to its ultimate conclusion. Then these comrades who have become seeds will surely be vindicated by the struggle of the Venezuelan people.
Iraida Morocoima, Movimiento de Pobladores y Pobladoras:
Venezuela is in mourning today, every time our children are killed. We are in mourning. They are attacking us on all fronts, with the blockade, with medicine, with food. It is war. A war for daring to be Chavistas, for being sons and daughters of Bolívar, of Guaicaipuro and because we are willing to tell the empire that here they will not enter, will not enter.
Every time something like this happens to us, our hearts break. We have sleepless nights, and we imagine the feeling of the relatives. Then we become strong and go to battle. And it makes us angry. Angry because they are so young. It makes us indignant. They are messing with the women and youth of this country. We have to do something, comrades, we cannot continue to expose ourselves, and our children, our young people. I am inviting you to embrace each other. We will embrace because this will cause some fear and it will strengthen us. Hug the one next to you. We know each other and we are one. The embrace strengthens us and we can no longer distance ourselves. We need to be anointed, strong, because the battle we are going to give against the empire is going to be won. And when we conquer, our companions will live forever.
Long live the companions of Ticoporo. Live forever, as Chávez lives in our hearts. Long live the Great Homeland.
William Gudiño, Red Nacional de Comuneras y Comuneros (National Network of Communards):
Greetings, brothers and sisters of the Revolutionary Current Bolívar and Zamora, from the National Network of Communists of Venezuela, we express our irrevocable and firm decision to be in solidarity. As we have been expressing with this organization, with the comrades of the CRBZ and all of us who fight for a just and peace-loving society, we stand in solidarity and repudiate the deplorable and terrible events of the Ticoporo massacre in Barinas that can never be repeated. The murder of our compañeros and compañera is related to the imperial attack against the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela and all that the construction of socialism represents in Our America and in the whole world, that is why within the framework of the struggle and the central contradiction in this moment, the empire-nation contradiction, we place these deplorable deeds.
The National Network of Communeros and Comuneras, together with the Revolutionary Current Bolívar and Zamora and many other forces, at this moment we are building a unitary platform that expresses in organic terms, in communication, training, defense, production, the commitments that we assumed with Commander Hugo Chávez, with our eternal president Hugo Chávez, to build socialism in Venezuela. So this expression of solidarity also goes with the commitment to build, beyond our own lives, this communal popular unity of workers that we need to establish in Venezuela and beyond in order to make socialism, the historical project of the oppressed peoples of the world, a reality. So we repeat and conclude with our most sincere expression of solidarity with the comrades of La Corriente and we aspire to be true and in that sense we must work to achieve it, so that these incidents or similar events are not repeated in the homeland of Bolivar and Hugo Chávez.
Greetings brothers, my personal and collective solidarity from the Red Nacional de Comuneras y Comuneros.
Iñaki Etaio Alonso and Dorleta Guzmán Muñoz, Askapena – Euskal Herria:
We come from Euskal Herria, the Basque country, a people that continues to fight for its national and social liberation. We are a brigade of the internationalist organization Askapena. Askapena has been sending brigades to Venezuela since 2000. Askapena is sending brigades to learn about the Bolivarian process and to convey Basque solidarity with the Bolivarian movement. In addition, in the Basque country we carry out actions, mobilizations, in defense of the Bolivarian Venezuela.
We want to extend a supportive embrace to the families of the martyrs of Ticoporo. In spite of the aggressions against the Bolivarian Revolution, the economic war, media war, paramilitary aggressions, they will not be able to hold back the struggle of the Venezuelan people for a dignified future of freedom. As we say in the Basque country: Many peoples, only one struggle!
Silvana Broggi, Patria Grande – Argentina:
I want to transmit to you our solidarity towards a sister popular organization. I would also like to reaffirm the need for unity, because our compañeros and compañeras have died, their lives stolen from them. We leave life in struggle, we live for a just cause and for a just cause we will die. Each one of them has left his or her life behind. They are our brothers and our sister.
We say that when a companion falls into a fight he lives in each and every one of us. We have the obligation to continue their struggle, the duty to demand justice. We must develop the necessary mechanisms to prevent the continuation of massacres and victims. We have that responsibility, we have that commitment. We are committed to working together.
We want to extend a fraternal embrace and recall an Aztec legend that said that when a warrior dies, his or her soul becomes a butterfly to accompany those who continue to fight. And at the same time, there is an Argentine warrior, who was also assassinated, murdered by insurgents, her name was Lohana Berkins, who said that in a world of capitalist worms you have to have the courage to be a butterfly, thank you very much.
Alibeth Navas, CRBZ militant, brigadista, sister of Kevin Navas:
Where six comrades fell, thousands of us stand today in their name. Now we demand justice for our brothers and our comrades. Wherever they may be, I know they are heroes to us, because of everything they taught us, and what they fought for, and left behind, for the struggle they were waging, and once again I tell you, here are my brothers, here I am to continue fighting in that legacy where my brothers and sister were murdered.
And we must always be prepared, comrades, so that we are not taken by surprise. Because we are also social activists, we are also going out to the streets every day to work, to fight, for each one of those people, for each one of the housewives, for our children.
How can it be possible that a working person, a fighting person, an innocent person, who was helping people, was murdered in this way? In the same way my niece, a young girl of only 25 years old with three children. A one year old girl. A 5 year old and a 7 year old child. When the boy saw his mother where he stood he said to me “poor little me, aunt, I’m without a mother, now what am I going to do, now who am I going to live with?” In the same way my older brother left behind his 5 children.
For us it has been an immense sorrow and I say to the relatives of our companions: now more than ever we are going to be united and kneel together on the ground to do whatever it takes, companions. Now let’s take that flag and move forward, comrades. We are going to do justice for our brothers, for our comrades and nobody is going to silence us. Now is when they will hear us, nationally, internationally. We are going to achieve justice, comrades, always loyal, never traitors!
Orlando Zambrano, Constituent:
Today we are commemorating eight days since the vile murder that took place on this site. The investigation during 8 days is very limited. And if this is so little, why? There is sufficient evidence available to determine exactly what happened in the Ticoporo Reserve. So we demand speed in the investigation. To the Attorney General of the Republic, Tarek William Saab, from the Ticoporo Reserve, in one voice we demand that justice be done for the massacre of our comrades and that there not be impunity.
After the assassination there was a second murder, which was murder through the media, with the intention of presenting the comrades as criminals. That was part of the plan. And here we want to acknowledge in a very particular manner all the revolutionary militants at a national and international level who demonstrated their solidarity, voiced their rejection and repudiation of the massacre that took place in Ticoporo.
If one of the goals planned in the framework of this massacre was to sow terror and demobilize us, then you should know that it did not. We have more desire to struggle on, we have more desire to continue fighting.
We greet the families of our fallen brothers and sisters, our five compañeros and our compañera. From here we categorically repudiate the murder and the ways in which these actions and operations have been carried out. To the relatives we say that their brothers, their husbands, were great men and women who were doing work in defense of the homeland, for sovereignty, for democracy.
We are confident that this will not go unpunished. Just as we are here today, in Caracas the social movements are also active in rejecting and repudiating the Ticoporo massacre. We are standing here, enduring. As long we want.
November 22, 2011 marked the Bocas de Río Viejo massacre. 8 years have passed. And 8 years after the Bocas de Río Viejo massacre, it is still unpunished. But from here we say, the person responsible for the massacre of the mouths of Rio Viejo was Colonel Seldeño Armas. And we wonder where Seldeño Armas is. Seldeño Armas is currently the president of Industrias Diana, based in Carabobo. How is the person responsible for a massacre free? That is why we are distrustful, we are suspicious and the only thing we do not want is for them to try to do the same about this massacre.
We are not idiots, we also have intelligence. We have prepared ourselves integrally to defend the homeland, to defend sovereignty, to defend independence. We have been respectful, we have allowed the investigations to advance, but 8 days later we want significant results. One wonders if there are dark interests involved when we learn the truth about the Ticoporo massacre. These are topics that we leave for reflection. If there are interests, who are those actors who are pulling the strings behind this?
We have the means through social intelligence. We have let the Venezuelan state take action. And we are entrusting it. We want trust to be maintained, we don’t want disappointment. This massacre has left 15 children without their parents. If these children, who are left without their fathers and mothers, do not arouse the sensibility of the investigative bodies to be able to bring about justice so that they pay in prison for the intellectual and material damage caused by this crime committed on July 27.
It is no secret that in 2014 and 2017 important battles were fought in the municipality of Sucre, where the Venezuelan right wing promoted destabilizing and guarimbas activities. And they wanted to burn the municipality, the whole axis. But the comrades of those who were assassinated put their necks out, and managed to stop the plans. But in the sector as well, a few days ago a group of dairy farmers began to throw away a quantity of milk as a sabotage mechanism. Former police officers also participated in this carnage. This is not the first time they have done so, those who should guarantee peace, security, but work for the enemy. They cannot be called patriots. And political leaders and paramilitaries also participated.
We are going to continue defending the homeland wherever we are. We urge you to be attentive to what will continue to happen. We must act, we are obliged to act. The political battle is in the street. That’s why we continue to produce food, organize the people and prepare for the defense of the homeland and sovereignty.
Yenifer Urbina, CRBZ militant, Councillor for the municipality of Sucre:
We are present here and we thank everyone for coming. Because we are demonstrating to these people who carried out this massacre that we are not afraid, that we continue to demand justice, that we pursue it to the very end.
It’s really sad, my friends. It is sad to see the relatives, and family members, also comrades in struggle, comrades of La Corriente, brigadistas, comrades of the Juntas platform. We want to tell you that we are going to continue working with you, just as we continue with Chávez’s legacy, we want you to know that there are many people here, Kevin, there are many Milagdis, many José, many Alexis, many Eudis and many Manuel. And we see it here in each one of us.
So, comrades, I encourage you not to falter. If we have to go out at dawn to demand justice, let’s go out, comrades, because this cannot remain this way.
José “Chema” Romero, CRBZ militant, Mayor of the municipality of Páez:
The comrades were assassinated here, with a planned action, which was followed by several days and weeks before being executed. The comrades carried a flag that today we are going to grasp with greater force. Don’t doubt comrades that we are going to go further, we are going to continue to move forward.
In 2107, in the municipality of Páez, those same people who took away our compañeros and stood up against the people with dignity, we conquered the mayor’s office of the municipality of Páez, to implement at last, still with errors and weaknesses, but today with facts to prove what social justice and Chávez’s revolution mean. We are at order. We offer ourselves and I personally offer myself to come to a popular assembly in this sector, with the 7,000 families, if the mayoress accompanies us, to discuss which side we should be on, and what strategy we should seek to survive the economic war, to survive the peasant’s enemy, to survive the enemy of the majority. This way we would be concretely taking the flags of the comrades and following the struggle.
Pedro Alvarado, militant of the CRBZ, constituent sector of the communes:
Kevin Navas was not simply the mechanic of the community. Kevin Navas was the head of CLAP, a communal leader. Kevin Navas was a leader who fought for gas, for roads, for electricity, for community food.
In this place, exactly where we are standing, here Kevin fell. This cartridge case that we see here, that the companions displayed, was one of those that vilely took away the life of a man’s dream and hope, of a father, of a worker who had here, where we are, his conuco, his auyamas bushes.
That’s why we decided on the slogan “No more Chavistas murdered”. The first report that circulated was a confrontation between gangs. Within 20 meters, six comrades were murdered. A comrade who was lighting the stove to cook, her one-and-a-half year-old daughter who saw her mother murdered. And this goes for the comrades who have the responsibility of clarifying to the last detail the events that took place here.
The Hugo Chávez Popular Defense Brigades were born in Socopó. When in 2017 the guarimbas here passed to another higher level, in which they seized the bridge of Socopó, ready to immolate anyone who crossed that bridge, it was up to us, and it has been incumbent on me to be in some of those battles, to organize people to defend and to fight. It was up to us to organize a caravan from Santa Barbara to Socopó, on July 22, 8 days before the Constituent Assembly, to denounce the fascist violence and guarimba. Against that, organized people, Hugo Chavez Defense Brigades.
It was up to us to be in Sucre, where there is a fascist, paramilitary, drug-trafficking right wing that wants the Chavista people to surrender. If the comrades who have the responsibility of clarifying and doing justice do not apply it, we will apply it with measures of pressure, of denunciation, with first and last names.
Not only is this casing there, here is also a compañero’s cap, with one shot to the forehead. Those comrades who fell here were shot in the head. What’s in there? What else do you want? Hate, terror, fear. And here it has fallen to us to spend these days with the community, with the nearest neighbours, talking to them. Because everything that happened here generates doubts about who is coming and why. Because there wasn’t a word here, they were shootings and nothing else. It didn’t matter that there was a child, it didn’t matter at all. About these actions, from this place, from the site of the martyrs of Ticoporo, from the house of Kevin Navas, we from the Revolutionary Current Bolivar and Zamora demand that justice be done.
Ángel Prado, community member, leader of the Socialist Commune of El Maizal:
A lot has happened. People have been killed in Zulia, people have been killed in Tachira, people have been killed in the capital city. In the Guarimbas they killed us, they burned us. It seems that the feelings we had when Comandante Chávez physically went away are reflected here.
Even though we didn’t know these comrades in person, we say that when a peasant who fights for land is murdered, with whom we identify, it is like having an organ removed from one’s body. Because the peasant struggle is one and it is historic.
How many tears after Bolivar’s death, in the blacks, the slaves, the indigenous people who accompanied him in his struggle for freedom, how much pain. How much pain for Simon Bolivar to learn of the death of Sucre, for example. The same tears that the relatives and comrades of the Revolutionary Current Bolívar and Zamora shed today. The same tears that were shed when the people who accompanied Ezequiel Zamora learned of that traitor’s bullet. The same tears that the Communist Party and the left shed three decades ago when they learned of the death of Ali Primera. The same tears of that March 5, 2013 when we learned of the physical demise of Comandante Chávez.
We saw, comrade Pedro and I, a bullet cartridge, a casing. This fills us with indignation, it also fills us with rage, with rebellion. If someone does not have the courage to do justice because they are afraid of the oligarchy that dominates a large part of the lands of this country, which are the ones that are unfortunately making pacts with our government, we from the El Maizal Commune, and you from here, the Venezuelan peasant sector should rise up with great strength and do justice, compatriots, because these deaths cannot go unpunished.
Juan Carlos Guevara, Partido Patria Para Todos:
Our presence here today is to reaffirm our commitment to the agrarian struggle, the peasant struggle, our revolutionary struggle, and as a gesture of solidarity with the Revolutionary Current Bolívar and Zamora, which is a sister organization. We are brothers of that organization, as well as of El Maizal and others.
We repudiate the act, this massacre of Ticoporo. And we join that call for justice. There can be no impunity in a revolutionary process, even more so when this peasant struggle is more pertinent than ever in all that this process entails. Because today when imperialism attacks, when the national and international oligarchy unites to try to strip us of what has been recovered in Revolution, today when imperialism stalks us, attacks us, blocks us, when the economic war takes food from the table of our people, today more than ever this struggle for the democratization of the land, for the vindication of the use of the land, because that is where the strategic issue is, to be able to be truly free and sovereign. We are not going to be free and sovereign until we are able to produce our own food.
Because it is there, we must say it self-critically, that is where one of the main weaknesses of this process lies. Even though we have so many years in Revolution, we have not yet been able to produce our own food. And it is this organized people, it is in the countryside, it is with the peasant struggle that we must achieve this great historical challenge.
In such a way that this humble act, warm, full of passion, full of revolutionary fervour, must transcend beyond the borders of our state of Barinas, to the entire national territory and beyond the borders of Venezuela. A collective commitment that we must all assume here is to disseminate nationally the injustice committed here. It cannot go unpunished, it cannot be silenced, on the contrary, a national demand must be made for justice to prevail here in this vicious massacre that has been committed by the oligarchy, the right wing present in these properties. Which is no different from what is happening in many parts of the country.
I come from Táchira and it is not easy there. Only together can we overcome these difficulties. Hence, we support the reflection made by comrade Iturriza, unity is necessary, it is the unity of the revolutionary movements, today more than ever, when imperialism attacks us in such a vile way as it is doing at this moment. There is no moment in the history of Venezuela when these people have been as attacked as they are now by the American empire.
From the Patria Para Todos party our solidarity and our commitment with this struggle and with the Revolutionary Current Bolívar and Zamora in continuing to organize our people for the future of the country.
Trust that your pain, your anger, is our pain, our anger. We feel the spilled blood as our blood. I believe it must be honoured. To honour it with our express solidarity and with our presence in this case. This is not the first time that comrades have been murdered, unfortunately. It is not the first time that comrades of the Current have been murdered, as Orlando (Zambrano) recounted.
However, it is important to understand this characterization. Almost all the mortal victims, almost all the comrades murdered in the countryside in these twenty long years of the Revolution, occurred in the context, as the commander liked to say, of a popular counterattack, of a popular offensive, of a government offensive, of the revolutionary government. The right wing fought in the territory and murdered comrades.
It seems to me that one of the most important things at the moment is that the winds of restoration are blowing. The landowners, the oligarchy, the latifundistas come for what was recovered during the years of the Revolution and they believe they have the right. Impunity and complicit silence of course does not help. Hence the importance that we do not miss a single moment to break the silence.
I know that there are comrades inside and outside the government, who do not necessarily carry responsibilities, and comrades with very high positions within the government, who, of course, do not agree with what is happening, are not aligned with the forces favourable to the interests of the latifundia. I ask those compañeros and compañeras publicly: What the hell are you waiting for before protesting against these murders? What the hell are you waiting for? What is the political calculation you are making? What is the favour, the benefit you think you are giving to the Bolivarian Revolution by keeping silent?
I believe that silence in the case of the compañeros and compañera murdered here in Ticoporo is an ominous shameful silence; it is time to break that silence.
We believe that it is very important to call for reflection on those comrades who, for reasons that we do not understand very well, do not demonstrate publicly, because it is not enough to do so in private. The murder of comrades is becoming increasingly common. That is why it seemed important to me, even if in a very brief, very concise way, to distinguish the moment. The murder of comrades is becoming commonplace. The oligarchy is coming because of everything it has lost, it is coming to reverse, to force us to retreat, along the entire path we walked with Comandante Chávez and since Commander Chávez passed away. For this reason, we must put a stop to them, by whatever means.
Belkis Pediachi, Mayor of Sucre municipality:
First of all, my solidarity, my respect for the family. Anyone who has lost a family member knows the immense pain that is felt in the soul. Secondly, I would like to say that in this territory we lived an active life with a leader, and I allow myself to mention Kevin Navas. Kevin Navas, a fellow patriot, a fellow fighter, a comrade who was concerned with the social task, food, agricultural routes, everything that has to do with the needs of a community. That’s why we say, Long live Kevin! This is where he lived an active political and social life. Nobody here is going to tell me any bad stories about Kevin Navas, because I knew him. In the same way as Kevin, also for his massacred comrades.
God knows the torment that families experience, we as a government have already undertaken a struggle. The comrades of Corriente Bolívar and Zamora will soon find themselves in contact with the people who carried out this massacre. The laws and the competent organisms must take action.
On many occasions we held meetings at the Francisco Miranda high school and Kevin was one of the first compatriots to summon the people, to summon the assembly. Kevin was the first to be there when we were fixing the road, regardless of what community it was.
From the Bolivarian government, in the name of the PSUV, who are here in the name of the party, of the UBCH, we are in solidarity with the whole family. With all the family of these heroes, these patriots who lived here in these territories. So my comrades, count on one more soldier of the homeland, one more soldier who, like you, is fulfilling a mission in this territory. We cannot let the death of these patriots go unpunished. We have to continue the struggle, Commander Chávez said it in his last days. Unity, Struggle, Battle and Victory.