Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Senseless Violence

"We must unite against violence and insecurity. This situation calls for us to take a long look at ourselves as a country."
Henrique Capriles, Venezuela political opposition leader

"Sadness, anger, indignation, impotence, shame and pain, pain, pain, dammit!!! Monica and Thomas are the face of thousands of men and women whose chilodren have been left without parents because of the violence of Venezuela" Argentinian TV personality Camila Canabal
Thomas Berry and Monica Spear Mootz on their wedding day in June 2008. They were murdered by gunmen in front of their daughter
Thomas Berry and Monica Spear Mootz on their wedding day in June 2008. They were murdered by gunmen in front of their daughter

They mourn the senseless, brutal death of an Argentinian celebrity, a former Miss Venezuela, popular soaps-actress Monica Spear. She met her death on a highway, in a vehicle with her ex-husband Thomas Berry and their little girl. Venezuela is considered to be one of the most crime-ridden, violent countries in the world. Though estranged, 29-year-old Monica Spear and her 39-year-old husband took vacations together, with their child.

President Nicolas Maduro is outraged: "They fired with viciousness", he declared (absurdly). And he has convened a security council, promising an "iron fist" against his country's violence. Iron fists are favoured by dictators to put down insurrections. Venezuela, oil-rich, but incompetent at spreading the wealth around, has far too many impoverished people.

The government is corrupt, but has captured the vote in memory of its beloved past dictator, the grass-roots hero, Hugo Chavez -- Mr. Maduro his groomed disciple.

The young family with their five-year-old daughter was driving along a highway known for attacks, when their car broke down. An obstacle was thought to have been deliberately placed on the road to result in that breakdown. As a tow truck was hoisting the car, they realized that five armed men were fast approaching, and they locked themselves securely inside their car. Which led the gunmen to open fire.

Mr. Berry was fatally shot in the chest and his wife in the head, while the child was shot in the leg and survived. She is being cared for by her grandparents and has not yet been informed she will never see her parents alive again. Members of a known gang of notorious reputation have been arrested for questioning. Two of them were 15 and 16 years of age.

The gang of seven, according to Rafael Lacava, mayor of Puerto Cabello where the killers struck, included two women.

"Perhaps now that Venezuela sees the depths to which we have sunk, things can finally change in this country. It's a terrible tragedy to lose Tom. But perhaps some good can come from his death", remarked Thomas Berry's friend and partner, Luis Dominguez at his Caracas travel agency. If it takes the murder of two well-known people, one a celebrity figure, well and good.

What about all the thousands who have been preyed upon, who have been murdered in a violent, criminal society which keeps the aggregate of its citizenry living in fear and dread? How is it possible that no prior action was taken to address this scourge of depraved violence when it has been ordinary, non-celebrities who have lost their lives?

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