An armored police vehicle drives a car down a narrow street in the vicinity of Caracas during an operation to regain control of the area this Friday after nearly two days of clashes with criminal gangs.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in the shooting, which began Wednesday in the western capital of Venezuela. Local media report A dozen deaths from being hit by false bullets among officers, criminals and the general public.
“We have made progress in removing criminal structures established in these regions, With clear pretexts such as sowing terrorism and breaking the peace of Caracas, ”Interior Minister Carmen Melandes wrote on Twitter. “We have freed civilians abducted by social enemies.”
There are about 800 officers as part of the operation to seize Kota 905The government is offering a 000 500,000 reward for information that allows him to be caught in an area where a gang called “Koki” operates.
“It was like a war! We defended ourselves and waited for it to happenHe told the news agency AFP Jesus is King, A 40-year-old mechanic who lives in the area.
“They were shooting from everywhere“A young woman said she told me to keep her name safe.”We went to a brick house. There were 50 of us. We waited all night until it was quiet this morning and we could go outsideHe added.
Minister Melandes unveiled photos of sand dunes in Kota 905 and improved trenches with logs and security posts built with canvas roofs.
Officers searched several homes looking for “Koki” and the gang’s other lieutenants.
Journalists are experts in the source Events They released videos of sections of the occupied zone where there are buckets full of bullets, and buckets full of ammunition on the ground.
High-powered weapons, grenades, tracer bullets and drones were used in the clashes. The gangs had a broad view of the areas they controlled.
The regime links clashes with these gangs, which have affected other parts of western Caracas, and the opposition is said to have plotted to “destabilize” Nicolas Maduro.
“Domestic enemies want to sow anxiety by funding criminal gangs. We will not sit idly by,” Maduro wrote on Twitter. “We follow the law and act strongly.”
“Grenades woke us up”
Neighbors from the shooting-affected areas have fled their homes and taken refuge with friends and family. Due to roadblocks, many people have to walk miles to reach points such as the Caracas Land Terminal to leave the city..
More than 160 companies in a statement “Origin of the Migration Event” Following the clashes. Among them, the voluntary charity Otro Entacion collects everything from mattresses to food to house children and adolescents leaving Kota 905.
“Since we left, our bags have been searched at various police checkpoints”, Said a resident of Kota 905 AFP Under the reservation, he took a bus to San Juan de las Moros in the state of Curia, 130 km from Caracas. “I am very worried because the rest of my family is dependent”.
Sonia Motta, A 51-year-old teacher, plans to move to the sheltered city of Curanas, 30 km from the capital. “The grenades woke us up this morning“, he said. “Living in this misery is horrible”.
Motta lives in El Cementerio, near Kota 905, where a hostage-taking was recorded this Friday with criminals allegedly injured by police.
In June, at least three people were killed in another clash between police and gangs.
Venezuela recorded 12,000 deaths in violent acts by 2020, with the Observatory Venezuela de Violence (OVV) at 45.6 per 100,000 population, seven times the world average.
(With information from AFP)