Almost 100 undocumented Colombians traveling in three small buses were arrested a day ago at a National Guard “alcabala” in Barinas state.
Regime-friendly news media initially reported that a group of Colombian paramilitaries had been captured. Caracas Gringo speculated the Colombians more likely were traveling to Caracas and other cities looking for work.
But the “chavista” mayor of Santa Barbara de Barinas in Ezequiel Zamora municipality clarified overnight that the detained Colombians are not paramilitaries or illegals being smuggled into Venezuela.
Nope. They are gainfully employed workers on various cattle ranches in the municipality, and some have been “displaced” by the war in Colombia, an aide to the mayor explained.
The undocumented Colombians were “traveling in buses rented by the mayor’s office of Ezequiel Zamora Municipality in Venezuela,” says Edgar Mercharcano, the “regional coordinator of the Association of Colombians in Barinas,” according to news reports from Barinas.
“They were going to sign the Electoral Registry after obtaining their identity cards (cedulas de identidad) and then inscribe their names in the registry so they can vote in the 2010 elections,” adds Mercharcano.
The trip was organized by José Quintero, the “social promoter” for the Ezequiel Zamora mayor’s office.
Some questions the Attorney General’s designated prosecutors should ask, but probably won’t:
*Were the Colombians going to be given “cedulas” as foreign nationals legally residing in Venezuela, or were they going to receive the “cedulas” reserved for Venezuelan citizens? In other words, were they going to be naturalized illegally?
*Was there a quid pro quo? In payment for their legal residency or Venezuelan citizenship documents, were these Colombians required by the regime to vote for chavista candidates in te National Assembly elections?
*Who covered their lost wages for the one or two days they would be away getting their legal Venezuelan documents? The mayor’s office? The PSUV? Their employers?
*Who is Mercharcano? What is this individual’s role in all this? Is Mercharcano an “adviser” to the chavista” mayor’s office and/or the PSUV in Barinas?
The circumstances of this incident, and the individuals involved, suggest corruption, and illegal activities by elected chavista public officials to illegally secure Venezuelan residency and/or citizenship documents for undocumented Colombians provided they vote “chavista” in the next elections.