At least four police officers were killed and 22 “delinquents” were “neutralized” in clashes that began on Wednesday and ended on Friday in Caracas, Interior Minister Carmen Meléndez said.
“We regret the death of a sergeant from the National Guard and three employees of our Policía Nacional Bolivariana. In addition, 22 offenders were neutralized in this operation,” Meléndez said in reporting the deaths of several “innocent people” without detailing the number.
The minister also did not specify whether the “neutralized”, a word used ambiguously by the authorities, died or were detained, but clarified that there are “28 people injured” after the shootings that paralyzed life in western Caracas for almost 72 hours.
Among the offenders, Meléndez confirmed the deaths of three people identified as “Calvin”, “Pie” and “Chino”.
According to the minister, as part of the “Grande Cacique Índio Guaicaipuro” operation, the Venezuelan security forces gathered a force of 3,110 members of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB), the Scientific, Criminal and Criminal Investigation Corps (CICPC) and the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB). The operation also includes members of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM).
Meléndez also stated that the police operation is “respecting human rights”. According to her, the attacks by criminal groups began on July 7, during a graduation ceremony led by President Nicolás Maduro, in which he renewed the military leadership, and initially targeted “different police units”.
Among them were El Helicoide, headquarters of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin), a large CICPC station in El Paraíso, in the capital, and another by the Municipal Police of Caracas, which said it lives under “permanent harassment”.
The minister also commented that during the operation, “a military war arsenal” was seized, including cartridges for machine guns and other heavy weapons. Police released nine people who had been kidnapped by criminals.
Maduro’s deputy, Delcy Rodríguez, who spoke to the press along with Meléndez, said authorities had arrested three alleged “Colombian paramilitaries” and seized “weapons of the US and the Colombian Armed Forces”.
According to her, “this penetration that Colombian paramilitary groups made” in Caracas “was dismantled” thanks to the work of security agencies “with the support of social intelligence”.
According to the vice president, the three detainees “are currently testifying”, which she claims has caused “anguish” in the Casa de Nariño, seat of the Colombian government.
According to her, this was the end of “Colombian paramilitarism”. “It’s over, there is no more violence in Caracas,” he concluded after Meléndez’s statement, before claiming that the detainees’ testimonies had caused anguish for both Colombian President Iván Duque and Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López.