Spanish – Two years have passed since the world got proof that Maduro is a murderer. The vile murder of Captain Óscar Pérez was evidence of what the tyrant of Venezuela is capable of doing.
On January 15, 2018, the dictatorship carried out “Operation Gedeon,” which deployed four state security forces, with approximately 1,000 officials in action, armed with war rifles, machine guns, and helicopter artillery. The objective was to assassinate Inspector Pérez and his team.
Así comenzaba, hace exactamente dos años, lo que creía Oscar Pérez y su grupo, era una negociación, la cual terminó en una terrible tragedia conocida como la “Masacre de El Junquito” #prohibidoolvidar pic.twitter.com/JqsMoomi21
— Sergio Novelli (@SergioNovelli) January 15, 2020
The death penalty is illegal in Venezuela, just as extrajudicial executions are illegal across the world. The gruesome murder of Pérez serves as irrefutable proof of the criminal regime in Venezuela.
Óscar Pérez, the leader of the rebels, was shot in the head along with seven other members of the movement as per orders issued by Nicolás Maduro on the national joint broadcast.
There was a complete media blackout on the death of Óscar Pérez and the attack on his group by the regime’s military forces. The use of war rifles and rocket launchers came to light when videos were circulated on social media.
#15Ene Este miércoles se cumplen 2 años de La Masacre del Junquito donde fueron asesinados, por funcionarios del regimen de Nicolás Maduro, Oscar Pérez y su equipo. #TVVNoticias #TVVenezuela pic.twitter.com/8dDSM3BBgw
— TVV Noticias (@TVVnoticias) January 15, 2020
Although national and international human rights organizations denounced the excessive use of police and military force in the proceedings, no Venezuelan authority opened an investigation into the matter. Two years later, it is one more unsolved case where the killers are at large.
The Attorney General’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office appear to have shelved the case that some are now calling “the El Junquito massacre.” Meanwhile, the relatives of the deceased continue to mourn their absence.
— El Diario (@eldiario) January 15, 2020
That Monday, January 15, Venezuela and the world witnessed “live and direct” how Nicolás Maduro’s regime, through its security forces, was responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity as they committed seven extrajudicial executions.
Inspector Óscar Pérez was a pilot and former official of the criminal investigations and forensics services agency (CICPC) in Venezuela. He and the rebels were shot with high-caliber weapons, war rifles, and rocket launchers even though they had expressed their intention to surrender peacefully.
The rebel pilot managed to record at least 14 videos during the operation in which he was assassinated. These videos exposed the opacity of the process and the violation of military procedures.
It was not the first time that Maduro was exposed to the world for his authoritarian and criminal ways. However, it was the first time that the president confessed to vox populi that the dissidents were killed according to his orders. Maduro admitted on television that anyone who rebels against him would end up dead.
#ANUNCIO IMÁGENES FUERTES | Enviaré en los próximos días a la @IntlCrimCourt la fijación fotográfica de las víctimas de la #MasacreDelJunquito y del sitio del suceso. Esa evidencia no deja ninguna duda que lo ocurrido con Óscar Pérez y su grupo es un crimen de lesa humanidad 1/3 pic.twitter.com/QlmALvBeGw
— Luisa Ortega Díaz (@lortegadiaz) March 14, 2019
Óscar Pérez’s brutal murder backfired on Maduro. The German newspaper Spiegel Daily called Maduro a butcher, and the case has now reached the International Criminal Court.
During the operation, the regime permitted the participation of armed collectives and Chavista groups. In the course of the confrontation, the “Heiker,” leader of the Tres Raíces collective of January 23, who was the chief supervisor of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB), died.
His real name was Andriun Domingo Ugarte Ferrera, but he was known as Heiker Leobaldo Vasquez. According to reporters covering events in Venezuela, the “Heiker” had several ongoing murder investigations.
The impeccable résumé of Óscar Pérez
Óscar Pérez was an exemplary detective of the CICPC, although he described himself as an “actor, diver, and philanthropist” on social media. He also trained police dogs and was involved in social work with low-income and terminally ill children.
The policeman used his social media to promote the slogan “Rescuing Values,” in which he spoke of the importance of being supportive and avoiding counter-values that harm Venezuelan society.
Long before his uprising, Pérez, who was very popular in the media, gained some recognition in Venezuela for another facet of his life: a foray into cinema. In 2015, he was an actor in the Venezuelan film “Muerte Suspendida.”
He was an officer CICPC and belonged to the Special Actions Brigade (BAE).
The BAE group in Venezuela is a police unit formed and trained to carry out anti-terrorism missions, reconnaissance, hostage rescue, detention of dangerous criminals, and special actions.
It is made up of small groups of highly trained police, armed and provided with specialized equipment.
In an interview with the newspaper Panorama, Pérez said, “I am a helicopter pilot, a combat diver, and a freefall paratrooper. I am also a father, a companion and an actor. I am a man who goes out on the street, not knowing if he will come back home because death is part of evolution.”
Social media accolades
On social media, Venezuelans have not forgotten the man who became an icon of resistance and courage in the face of Nicolás Maduro’s regime.
“Today is January 15. It is the second anniversary of the El Junquito Massacre. That painful Monday my day began by going to the place where Óscar Pérez was reporting live on social media that they were being murdered. We were not allowed to pass. We immediately opened an investigation,” recalled representative Delsa Solórzano.
#Venezuela. Hoy, hace 2 años, Oscar Pérez, Daniel Soto, Abraham Lugo, Jairo Lugo, Abraham Agostini, José Díaz y Lisbeth Ramírez, fueron Ejecutados x la NarcoTirania, luego d rendirse públicamente.
Recibieron tiros de gracia. El mundo siguió en vivo su ejecución. #ProhibidoOlvidar pic.twitter.com/nrGNA1OzkT
— Tamara Suju (@TAMARA_SUJU) January 15, 2020
Lawyer and human rights defender, Tamara Suju, said, “Today, two years ago, Óscar Pérez, Daniel Soto, Abraham Lugo, Jairo Lugo, Abraham Agostini, José Díaz and Lisbeth Ramírez were executed by the narco-tyranny after they had publicly surrendered. They were shot in the head. The world witnessed their execution live.”
María Corina Machado, leader of Vente Venezuela also remembered Pérez and his team: “Óscar Pérez, Daniel Soto, Abraham Lugo, Jairo Lugo, Abraham Agostini, José Díaz, and Lisbeth Ramírez. We have not forgotten them! Two years ago, they were executed in El Junquito. This is how the criminal regime acts. We will oust them with strength, and there will be justice!”