Justice in the works at last for the victims of the Caracazo, Yumare and Cantaura


A truck carries coffins of the victims of the Caracazo to a mass grave somewhere in Caracas, Venezuela, early March, 1989.

Venezuela is making major progress in unearthing the truth about several political killings of the “democratic” 40 years of the Punto Fijo era, that false golden age that the oppos are doing their damnedest to bring back. Two of the worst massacres, after the Caracazo of 1989, are those of Cantaura and Yumare from the early- to mid-1980s, in which bodies of the tortured and disappeared were buried in mass graves that, until recently, remained untouched. Here’s the latest on the Cantaura massacre investigations:

This Sunday marks the 27th anniversary of the Cantaura Massacre, in which 400 members of the Armed Forces and dozens of officers of the General Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP), with the help of Caberra and Bronco airplanes from the Air Force, cruelly murdered 25 Venezuelans.

The actions began at 5:30 am on October 4, 1982. They were part of a military operation already underway, whose objective was to destroy a presumed guerrilla camp of the Américo Silva Front, which at the time was in an uprising against the government of then-president Luís Herrera Campins (1979-83).

The victims were all between the ages of 16 and 30, and the majority were shot in the back of the head.

The dead have been identified as follows:

Roberto Rincón Cabrera

Emperatriz Guzmán Cordero

Carmen Rojas García

Sor Alonso Salazar

José Núñez

Mauricio Tejada

Enrique Márquez Velásquez

Carlos Hernández Arzola

Idemar Castillo

Luisa Estévez Arranz

Baudilio Herrera Veracierto

José Becerra Navarro

Eumenedis Ysoida Gutiérrez Rojas

Diego Carrasquel

Luis Gómez

Antonio Echegarreta

Eusebio Martel Daza

Rubén Castro Batista

Nelson Pacín Callazo

Carlos Zambrano Mira

Beatriz Jiménez

Julio Faría Mejía

In response to the families of the victims, the Public Ministry re-opened the case in 2006. To date, 23 new investigations have been conducted, in order to gather sufficient evidence to establish criminal responsibilities in the massacre of Cantaura, in the state of Anzoátegui.


With these materials, the National Assembly, by way of Reinaldo García, the president of the Human Rights Subcommission, proposed the creation of a Truth Commission to advance investigations into the political killings and disappearances of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The parliament also designated a commission of deputies to investigate and establish civil and administrative responsibilities regarding the victims, disappeared ones and torture victims of the Cantaura, Yumare and Caracazo massacres, among others.

The commission plans to develop an Organic Law for the Classification and Declassification of Documents and Videos to open the archives of the military and police forces.

Reinaldo García said that, along with the discussion of the Truth and Justice Law, the commission would continue exhuming the bodies of the victims, and would not forget the restitution payments for the survivors and family members.

Translation mine.

For those who can read Spanish, there’s an interview here with Luís Machado, one of six survivors of the Yumare massacre of 1986, and a victims’ rights advocate. The document can be downloaded in PDF form and comes courtesy of Ciudad Caracas.

And in English, Venezuelanalysis has a progress report on the latest investigations into the deaths of the Caracazo. Official figures from the time of the massacre put the death count at around three hundred, but this is widely believed to be a gross underestimate, with the true number being in the thousands.

To get some idea of the mayhem the Caracazo unleashed, here’s a little YouTube (with music from Argentina’s own Bersuit Vergarabat):

The lyrics are very appropriate. The chorus goes:

Here comes the explosion

Here comes the explosion

Of my guitar

And your government

As well.

And if you should have any doubt

I’ve come to grips with what’s so hard

If this is not a dictatorship,

What is it?

What is it?

Ah yes, the glorious “democracy” of the Fourth Republic. Who misses it? And is this what lies in store for Honduras under its own current faux-democratic dictatorship? Hell, no–Honduras is living it already.

Se viene el estallido…

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2 Responses to Justice in the works at last for the victims of the Caracazo, Yumare and Cantaura

  1. Manaat says:

    It’s funny they have Nitu Perez Osuna in that last segment. I wonder what TV station she worked for then (I don’t think Globovisión existed yet).

  2. Heh…it was Venevisión.
    I guess that back then, they were not yet under orders to minimize anything that went against the neoliberal line.
    I love the way they made her sound like a chipmunk on helium. (Not that she sounds any less idiotic at normal speed!)

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