A couple of weeks ago, government security forces arrested several university students on trumped-up charges that they manufactured dozens of Molotov cocktails with the intention of using the weapons against the security forces during student protests.
Roughly about the same time, PoliChacao and PoliBaruta police arrested a group of La Piedrita’s thugs when they rode motorcycles down the main avenue of Las Mercedes firing handguns into the air and shouting pro-Chavez slogans. We wrote about this incident with the headline “La Piedrita gets bitch-slapped!”
All of the motorcycles seized from La Piedrita’s gangsters turned out to be stolen. The serial numbers of the semi-automatic handguns several of the thugs possessed when arrested reportedly have been traced back to weapons that supposedly belong officially to security forces like PoliCaracas (Libertador district) and the Metropolitan Police.
But a few days ago the jailed university students and La Piedrita’s jailed members were freed without any fanfare.
Caracas Gringo has now learned that the Chavez government and the office of the Mayor of Chacao quietly negotiated a prisoner exchange in which each side agreed to free all prisoners and drop all charges. “Cuarenta y pa’ la cola,” as Venezuelan cops and attorneys who specialize in penal law say when a case gets deep-sixed for political (or financial) reasons.
President Chavez publicly condemned La Piedrita on 7 February, and again on 8 and 9 February. And Chavez repeatedly ordered the immediate arrest of Santana.
But the national government of Venezuela secretly negotiated a prisoner exchange with the Chacao mayor’s office in which a group of students jailed illegally on fabricated charges were set free in return for PolicChacao freeing a group of thugs with criminal records who were arrested in possession of stolen motorcycles and illegal weapons.
Does anyone still believe the president’s bullshit about not tolerating violence by armed groups like La Piedrita?