Eyewitness account of US-backed “student” violence in Venezuela


Richard Moore

From: "Westaway" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Westaway" <•••@••.•••>

Subject: Eyewitness account of US-backed "student" violence in Merida, Venezuela

Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2006 22:51:35 -0700

from an email correspondent

Begin forwarded message:

From: circulo bolivariano <<mailto:•••@••.•••>•••@••.•••>

Date: June 1, 2006 7:28:39 PM PDT (CA)

Subject: Eyewitness account of US-backed "student" violence in Merida, Venezuela

This is a communique from Josue Wilson, a US citizen working with Mision Sucre 
in Venezuela:

Compañeras y Compañeros,

Thank you for taking the time to read this important update on right wing 
pro-coup terrorism now taking place in Venezuela. I am a United States citizen 
living and working in Merida Venezuela reporting on what appears to be the face 
of US backed efforts to de-stabilise the democratically elected Venezuelan 

Throughout the last week a heavily armed opposition student organisation has 
held violent protests in the city of Merida. Using handguns, shotguns, and Uzis 
they have repeatedly attacked the police and the National Guard leaving between 
26 and 36 wounded, at least two of those critically. The organization is called 
the Movimiento 13 de Marzo (M-13, not to be confused with the chavista 
Movimiento 13 de Abril M-13a) and has repeatedly worked to destabilise the city 
and country in collaboration with pro-coup anti-Chavez opposition groups.

The proclaimed reason for the protest is the ULA (University of the Andes) 
student elections, which were postponed when the Supreme Court ruled that the 
Administration and Faculty of the ULA were exerting unjust influence on the 
election and should not make up four of the five members of the elections 
monitoring committee. The M-13 claims that this is a violation of the ULA´s 
autonomy and that, although the Venezuelan judicial system is independent of the
executive branch, the executive branch is responsible.

The reality is that the M-13 and its leader Nixon Moreno (who has been a 
"student" at the ULA for 15 years) are attempting to create chaos before the 
presidential elections this December and to incite the universities to rise up 
against a contrived attack on their autonomy. For the moment this plan has 
failed and almost none of the other Universities have responded. Their tactics 
of unprecedented violence strongly indicate that they were looking for a student
death in order to inflame the country.

During the protests members of the M-13 chased down, stripped naked, beat, and 
attempted to rape police woman Sofía Aguilar at gunpoint. She has identified 
Nixon Moreno, the leader of the M-13, as the man who shot her partner and a 
member of the group who then beat him into a coma before she was assaulted. 
Between the protests members of the M-13 held a pistol to the head of a female 
member of the Juventude Comunista (JC, Communist Youth) and forced her to reveal
the addresses of other JC members, one of whom they have severely beaten.

Although there is a long history of violence during protests in Merida, it has 
consisted of rock throwing and the occasional Molotov cocktail. Never have 
students come out so heavily armed and shot so many people without any 
provocation or escalation. It is widely suspected that the arms and extremely 
expensive elections materials possessed by the M-13 have been directly provided 
by, or bought with resources provided by, US Ambassador William Brownfield or 
the CIA.

Nixon Moreno is in close contact with the opposition ex-Governor of Merida 
William Dávila and reportedly has met at least once in a Merida hotel with US 
ambassador William Brownfield. The US ties to this terrorist group are important
in understanding the US support of opposition movements in Western Venezuela.

Below and attached, in English and the original Spanish, is a public statement 
about the protests released by a coalition of youth organisations in Merida.

Please help to expose what is going on here and to inform your communities and 

En Solidaridad,

Josué Wilson
Merida, Venezuela


We, Revolutionary Student Movements, the Federation of University Centers of the
University of the Andes, and the Popular Movement of Merida (Movimientos 
Estudiantiles Revolucionarios, la Federación de Centros Universitarios de la 
Universidad de los Andes y el Movimiento Popular Merideño) wish to make public 
our rejection of the terrorist acts perpetrated by the pro-coup opposition 
groups 13 th of March Movement, 20 Movement, Red Flag (Movimiento 13 de Marzo, 
el Movimiento 20, Bandera Roja,) and other splinter groups, led by the "pseudo 
student" Nixon Moreno (charged in the April 11th coup with the assault on the 
State Capital building of Merida, publicly accused by a young policewoman of 
being a member of a group who tried to sexually abuse her, and who assaulted a 
policeman who is now in a precarious state of health,) who in complicity with 
paramilitaries, narco-trafficers, and common criminals tried today to 
re-initiate a destabilizing agenda by means of violence in face of the 
presidential elections in the upcoming month of December, and by means of 
"Guarimbera" practices which include in their plan of action the use of 
high-calibre firearms in an indiscriminate manner against the people of Merida.

We also denounce categorically the complicit and collaborative attitude of the 
University authorities under Chancellor of the University of the Andes Léster 
Rodriguez, the Administrative Vice-Chancelor Mario Bonucci, and the Dean of the 
School of Economic and Social Sciences Laura Toro. These administrators, 
accompanied by groups unconnected with the university who share the same 
reactionary pro-coup interests, presidential candidates, politicians on an old 
demagogic course, irresponsible social communicators who lack ethics, and all 
those manipulated by the interests and designs of North American Imperialism try
to create a matrix of opinion in which they show the victimizers as victims, 
denouncing a supposed violation of the university's autonomy.

Before the community in general, evidence has proven the falsehood of these 
arguments by means of testimonial and audiovisual evidence which confirms the 
destructive actions brought by these paramilitary groups which represent a 
serious threat to the security of the nation and the peace of the republic.

We believe that the University has been and continues to be overrun by a band of
parasitic pseudo-students, by paramilitaries, by narco-traffickers, and by the 
encysted bowels of administrative corruption whose cause is the apathetic 
neglect by those who until now have led, damaging the entire university 
community and the people in general, using university autonomy to shelter and 
support every kind of attempt or conspiracy against the social peace and 

We the revolutionary student movements, the F.C.U. and all of the men and women 
affected by this wave of violence and unknown guerrilla acts of destabilizing 
intent, demand the defence of the true University autonomy, in which there is no
room for paramilitaries, terrorists, coup plotters, conspiracists, sell-outs, 
lackeys, mercenaries, and in sum, all those who act against the peace of the 
Venezuelan people.

No to violence, no to the "Guarimbas," no to impunity, no to international 
interference, no to psychological and physical terrorism, no to coup seeking. We
will remain united all for the defence of peace and sovereignty in the face of 
the hatred which threatens to do away with all of our hopes.


Nosotros, Movimientos Estudiantiles Revolucionarios, la Federación de Centros 
Universitarios de la Universidad de los Andes y el Movimiento Popular Merideño 
queremos hacer publico nuestro repudio a las acciones terroristas perpetradas 
por parte del golpismo y el oposicionismo representados por el Movimiento 13 de 
Marzo, el Movimiento 20, Bandera Roja y otros grupúsculos mas, que se encuentran
dirigidos por el "pseudo estudiante" Nixon Moreno (imputado por el golpe de 
estado del 11 de abril, el asalto a la gobernación de Mérida, acusado 
públicamente por una joven policía merideña como integrante del grupo de 
maleantes que intento abusar de ella sexualmente, y quienes además agredieron a 
un agente policial cuyo estado de salud es precario), quien en complicidad con 
paramilitares, narcotraficantes y hampa común, hoy pretenden reeditar una agenda
desestabilizadora mediante un clima de violencia frente a las elecciones 
presidenciales del venidero mes de diciembre, por medio de las practicas 
Guarimberas, que incluyen dentro de su plan de acción el uso de armas de fuego 
de alto calibre, de manera indiscriminada sobre el pueblo merideño.

Por otra parte denunciamos contundentemente la actitud cómplice y encubridora de
las autoridades universitarias encabezadas por el ciudadano Rector de la 
Universidad de los Andes Léster Rodriguez, el Vicerrector Administrativo Mario 
Bonucci y la Decana de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales Laura Toro.
Estos personajes en compañía de grupos ajenos a la universidad pero con los 
mismos intereses reaccionarios y golpistas, candidatos presidenciales, 
politiqueros de una vieja trayectoria demagógica, y comunicadores sociales 
irresponsables y sin ética, todos ellos manipulados por los intereses y 
designios del Imperialismo Norteamericano, intentan crear una matriz de opinión 
en la que se muestran a los Victimarios como victimas, denunciando una supuesta 
violación de la autonomía universitaria. Cuando ante la comunidad en general, ha
quedado evidenciada la falsedad de tales argumentos mediante pruebas 
testimoniales y audiovisuales que constatan las acciones vandálicas llevadas por
estos grupos paramilitares, quienes representan una seria amenaza a la seguridad
de la nación, y a la paz de la republica..

Consideramos que la Universidad ha sido y continúa siendo allanada por una banda
pseudo estudiantes parásitos, por paramilitares, por narcotraficantes y por la 
corrupción administrativa que esta enquistada en sus entrañas y es causada por 
la desidia de quienes hasta ahora la han dirigido, perjudicando a toda la 
comunidad universitaria y al pueblo en general, utilizando la autonomía 
universitaria para cobijar y amparar todo tipo de atentados y conspiraciones 
contra el bienestar y la paz social.

hombres y mujeres afectados por esta ola de violencia y actos guerreristas 
inéditos con propósitos desestabilizadores, instamos a defender la autonomía 
universitaria verdadera, en donde no tengan cabida, los paramilitares, los 
narcotraficantes, los terroristas, los golpistas, los conspiradores, los 
vendepatria, los lacayos, los mercenarios, en fin todos quienes atentan contra 
la paz del pueblo venezolano.

No a la violencia, no a las guarimbas, no a la impunidad, no a la injerencia 
internacional, no al terrorismo psicológico y físico, no al golpismo. 
Permaneceremos todos juntos por la defensa de la paz y la soberanía, frente al 
odio que amenaza con acabar nuestras esperanzas.


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