From: "Pedro Martori"
Subject: With about 9,000 armed officers, the Caracas police force is a key
charset = "utf-8"
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 11:21:16 -0500
NNTP-Posting-Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 11:21:34 EST
Organization: Bell Sympatico
Asunto: Venezuela: as his power grows Chavez "sends a message" to the =
Fecha: Lunes, 18 de Noviembre de 2002 11:18 a.m.
Venezuela: as his power grows Chavez (footnote 1) "sends a message" to =
press by having his partisans fire-bomb opposition TV station =
(footnote 2). This is the second attack the first was a granade on this =
Footnote 1 From Miami Herald site
Posted on Mon, Nov. 18, 2002 story:PUB_DESC
Tear gas used against Caracas mayor
BY PHIL GUNSON
Special to The Herald
CARACAS - As tensions rose across Venezuela, national guard troops used=20
tear gas Sunday to prevent Caracas Mayor Alfredo Pe=C3=B1a and two =
from nearby districts from entering a precinct of the capital's=20
metropolitan police force. The government of President Hugo Ch=C3=A1vez =
been trying for the past two days to wrest control of the police from=20
Pe=C3=B1a, a staunch Ch=C3=A1vez opponent.
Equipped with machine guns and armored vehicles, the army and the=20
national guard continue to occupy district police stations in the=20
Venezuelan capital, including the headquarters of the motorized=20
division, where the incident occurred.
''With our hands in the air, we tried to enter [the building] simply to=20
talk to those inside,'' Pe=C3=B1a said.
With about 9,000 armed officers, the Caracas police force is a key=20
political asset for both the government and opposition in the battle=20
between Ch=C3=A1vez's increasingly unpopular ''revolution'' and its=20
opponents. Early Saturday, the Interior Ministry issued a decree=20
formally removing the police force from Pe=C3=B1a's control.
The police force ''represents a bulwark for the people of Caracas,''=20
said Carlos Fern=C3=A1ndez, chairman of Fedec=C3=A1maras, a business =
that opposes the Ch=C3=A1vez government. ``It has protected our lives =
The president on Sunday described the police under Pe=C3=B1a as ''an =
spearhead of the opposition.'' The government says the police played a=20
major role in April's failed coup, when the police and pro-Ch=C3=A1vez=20
activists fought a gun battle after a massive opposition demonstration=20
was fired on. Nineteen people died.
According to the government, the police force has used firearms to=20
suppress pro-Ch=C3=A1vez demonstrations, leaving two people dead and =
''We could wait no longer,'' Ch=C3=A1vez said Sunday. ``The executive =
obliged to act.''
Pe=C3=B1a and his police chief, Commissioner Henry Vivas, however, who=20
describe the attempted takeover as tantamount to a coup, refuse to=20
recognize the authority of Gonzalo S=C3=A1nchez, appointed Saturday by =
Interior Ministry as police director. S=C3=A1nchez was picked as a late=20
stand-in after the government's first appointee failed to win over=20
In a phone conversation with Ch=C3=A1vez, broadcast live on the =
weekly TV and radio show, S=C3=A1nchez admitted to ''some small =
control. He said military supervision would continue, ``until the=20
legality [of the measure] is recognized.''
Ch=C3=A1vez has sought to control the police ever since Pe=C3=B1a, a =
took over as the first elected mayor of metropolitan Caracas in 2000.=20
But the Supreme Court ratified the right of Pe=C3=B1a, not the national=20
government, to appoint his own police chief.
On Oct. 1, 600 officers went on strike, ostensibly over issues of pay.=20
Pe=C3=B1a said the strike was fomented by the government to provide an =
for the takeover. With the support of parliamentarians from =
Fifth Republic Movement and pro-government mobs, the officers took over=20
and rendered inoperative the police communications center.
Estall=C3=B3 artefacto explosivo en la sede de Globovisi=C3=B3n
El incendio se extendi=C3=B3 r=C3=A1pidamente y quem=C3=B3 tres =
(Foto Paulo P=C3=A9rez Zambrano)
PATRICIA VENTURA NICOLAS
A las 11:31 de la noche estall=C3=B3 un artefacto explosivo en la sede =
Globovisi=C3=B3n, ocasionando la p=C3=A9rdida total de tres =
veh=C3=ADculos que estaban=20
estacionados en el =C3=A1rea y que quedaron envueltos en llamas.
A pesar de las caracter=C3=ADsticas del ataque, no se produjo ninguna =
El director general de Globovisi=C3=B3n, Alberto Ravell, repudi=C3=B3 =
el hecho, declarando que `si esta es la respuesta por la noticia que=20
sacamos de la activista del c=C3=ADrculo bolivariano (Aixa Guevara) =
los efectivos militares y que llamaron para reclam=C3=A1rnosla, pues la =
transmitir cada hora=C2=B4.
Vale recordar que este ser=C3=ADa el segundo ataque sufrido por el canal =
televisi=C3=B3n. En la primera ocasi=C3=B3n fue una granada =
de la oposici=C3=B3n expresaron su rechazo.