Si hay impunidad no hay un coño (o a dónde ir a protestar) / Eduardo Febres

If There’s Impunity We Don’t Have Shit (Or Anywhere to Protest)

                  [Photo by Eduardo Febres]

Was Chávez killed? It’s hard to believe, but the truth is we don’t know. I think that if we find out one day it will be through a declassified file from U.S. intelligence, because the Venezuelan State, as far as we know, hasn’t moved a finger to find out. Nicolás Maduro announced an investigation that if it ever proceeded we never found out about it, and there are people convinced he was killed, just like there’s more people convinced he wasn’t. But in terms of knowing, no one knows.

But we do know very well that the indigenous leader from the Yukpa tribe Sabino Romero, who died two days before Chávez, was killed. After many attempts, threats, warnings, gunshots, blood, and above all after a cascade of impunity, they killed him. When he was traveling from Tocuco to Shaktapa, they shot him dead in front of his wife.
And ever since then, impunity continues to drag other corpses to join them.

There are five people in jail for complicity with the murder of Sabino, all of them sentenced to seven years, none of them are the killer. The person accused of pulling the trigger, Ángel Romero Bracho, hasn’t been sentenced. And the trial wanders from the table to the dining room. Convened for January 9th, it mobilized a few people at the doors of the Palace of Justice. A handful of people (twenty, thirty people) who are following the process and paying attention to it.
Among other things, because the masterminds (who aren’t clearly pointed out, but we suppose with a great deal of precision and elements that they’re ranchers) still haven’t even been touched by the law.

When they arrive at the courthouse they find out there’s no court session. Amidst a muddled and bureaucratic circulation of information, they’re able to find out it had been moved to January 6th, the Día de Reyes holiday and practially an official day off. And in a coincidence that’s quite convenient for paranoia and evil, the street leading to the Palace of Justice was blocked off by security forces. Supposedly because of a graduation (“These motherfuckers are graduating with a degree in corruption,” was overheard).
When they lift the show of force (facing the inoffensive convocation, the suspicious-paranoid version supposes), the protest moves to the Palace, with a bit more intensity.

The protest? Nothing extraordinary in how it played out, aside from a few protestors with their faces painted in tribute to the First Peoples: a blocked street, a few hand-held signs, some shouts, proclamations and demands.
What’s extraordinary are the comments overheard, among the passersby on the sidewalk in front of the Palace.
One: “Go back to the east side of Caracas.” A purée dissociated by the State-run TV station VTV, who can’t conceive how a group of people, most of them young, most of them cheerful, most of them pissed off, would protest, demand, shout, express their indignation in the face of impunity, without being opposition protestors.
Sabino is a symbol of impunity, amid a shit storm where thousands of other injustices circulate. And he is a symbol defended with the conviction that Chávez lives, or you don’t defend him at all. As it’s also a conviction one fights for with the knowledge that in those paralyzed, prudish, rigid, aged, ignorant and comfortable sectors of Chavismo, Chávez doesn’t live.
Another: “Why are these people protesting such a stupid thing, if I just spent four hours today in a food line.” This one not as much of a purée but equally dissociated, by TV but also by his own misery (the inner TV), who can’t put the two neurons together he needs to understand that as long as there’s impunity there won’t be shit anywhere. Not for him and his selfishness, not for anyone.

The poor street vendor who thinks it’s fair to exploit the poor (and his likeness, his brother, the poor man who buys from him); the National Guard who smuggles one, two, three, one hundred thousand kilos of whatever (and his likeness, his brother, the narco or the smuggler who sets up the deal), the exploiter of the dollar exchange system, who looted until the only thing left were empty containers (and his likeness, his brother, the casual exploiter of the system, who takes a few crumbs through his credit card), as well as whoever kills, rapes, steals or tortures. They could all fit in that place, facing those who fight for the symbol of Sabino.
This place is an accomplice and artifice to all of them. This is where all the food lines could end, all the empty shelves, all the massacres, the cases like Simonovis, Afiuni, Danilo Anderson along with some type of answer as to why it sometimes seems like the government wants to and can’t.
This is where the cancer, as well, could end.

{ Eduardo Febres, Contrapunto, 14 January 2015 }

No comments: