Fierce

Their Daughters Were Mercilessly Ripped From Them And Now These Women Are Seeking To Solve These Murder Mysteries

Credit: @caracasapie / Twitter

In Venezuela, a group of women has taken it upon themselves to seek justice for thousands of people who have been murdered by government forces, as many suspect to be the case.

These women, many of whom have lost family members, are on a mission to uncover the truth about the killers and expose the truth behind hundreds of unsolved murders.

Nobody knows exactly who these killers are, but almost everybody shares the same suspicions.

Credit: @CaraotaDigital / Twitter

Translation: #Faes stopped shopkeeper in El Valle and left him dead at Pérez Carreño

Most activists suspect President Maduro has been using Special Action Force (FAES), a masked paramilitary force, as a way to silence protests across the country’s barrios. Sometimes the murderers wear balaclavas, sometimes masks, sometimes they show their faces. Whenever these forces arrive, the people flee.

In a recent interview with CNN, one woman describes the night these men came for her husband. According to her, the men grabbed her husband from a poor neighborhood in Caracas, while he was visiting her and their three children.

“It was horrible, they had no compassion for our little girl, nothing. They just took him as they struck him. They put him in the van and they hit him, and they hit him, and they hit him,” she goes onto say.

Yarleidys never saw her husband again.

These barbaric methods of capture and murder have left people feeling angry and afraid.

Credit: @NadeenReham / Twitter

Translation: Corrupt wretched assassins

Venezuela has been racked by violence and it’s estimated that more than 8,000 people have been killed in extrajudicial killings between 2015 and 2017.

One woman, Aracelis Sanchez, 51, lost her son when he was shot just outside their home in 2013. She believes the men who executed him were members of the same forces.

Yet so far, no one has been prosecuted for the killing.

However, there is strength in numbers.

Credit: @GomezMarcos / Twitter

After her son’s murder, Sanchez went to a government office to report it. In the office, she met another woman whose son had also been killed. From that moment, a women-led movement was born.

Today, a group of more than 100 mothers and wives have joined her and started a group called Orfavideh, the Organization of Relatives of Victims of Human Rights Violation.

Although speaking out in a country where violence is rampant, especially violence against women, Sanchez leads the group in their activism. Not only are they working to solve countless unsolved murders but they also help each other through the grieving process. They also help each other in their lawsuits against the state. Unfortunately, they have yet to win any convictions but they are determined to keep trying.

Oftentimes, they speak out very publicly.

Credit: @amnistia / Twitter

They have helped bring greater attention to the issues and since their involvement, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) assigned a five-person team in Venezuela to investigate the killings.

This team also linked the FAES to more than 200 killings.

“I think that this is terrorism, that (the government) inflicts on the people of the barrios so that the people do not come out and protest,” says Carmen Elena Arroyo, an Orfavideh member, told CNN.

In an interview with CNN, she says her son Cristian wasn’t particularly political. “Everyone knew him, and everyone liked him.”

Cristian was a successful barber in Petare and was returning from celebrating his 25th birthday when he ran into FAES members. What happened next is unclear. But he ended up dead.

“Soon the barrios won’t have any young men left,” she says.

READ: 20 Iconic Pictures From Venezuelan History

This Brazilian Father-Son Duo Were Caught Making Fake Lamborghinis And Ferraris But Honestly It’s Kind Of Amazing

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This Brazilian Father-Son Duo Were Caught Making Fake Lamborghinis And Ferraris But Honestly It’s Kind Of Amazing

Brazilian Civil Police

Lamborghini cars are synonymous with extravagance and dreams of wealth that are unattainable for the vast majority of people. Ferraris are also a denominator of wealth and sometimes of a midlife crisis (generally “suffered” by white dudes who need to reaffirm their masculinity by driving a fancy, roaring car).

By the amount of Italian luxury cars one is able to spot in Latin America, you wouldn’t think that the region suffers from constant economic crisis and that vast segments of the population live under the poverty line. However, the fact that some individuals are willing to spend on a car more than some people make in their whole lives speaks to the deep and wide inequalities that exist in the region.

The Brazilian police just revealed that they uncovered a secret operation in which a father-son duo were actually manufacturing fakes! Yes, you read that right. If you thought that making fake Prada and Louis Vuitton handbags that look like the real deal sounded complicated, just wait until you read this story that falls under the category of magical realism.

Lamborghinis are expensive, like REALLY expensive.

If you wonder why someone would go through the trouble of making a fake luxury car, wonder no longer. An authentic Lamborghini costs no less than $200,000 USD. Just think about this: the minimum wage in Brazil is 998 reals a month, which translates into $257.5 USD. Yes, we are talking MONTHLY wage. So you can imagine what owning a Lamborghini in Brazil, even a fake one, means in terms of what some people consider important as a definer of class and social status. 

The Brazilian police made a fantastic discovery in the region of Santa Catarina.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

The Brazilian police received complaints from two Italian manufacturers, Lamborghini and Ferrari. Investigations led them to  Santa Catarina, a state in southern Brazil famous for its beaches and nightlife , and about 840 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro, where they made the arrests. 

They proudly announced the bust on social media, and guess how the cars were being sold.

Credit: PCSC_Oficial / Twitter

The Brazilian police, which is getting a boost from conservative new president Bolsonaro, proudly announced the bust on their Twitter account. As reported by Business Insider, the father-son team also used digital networks for their marketing and distribution: “The shop was offering the cars on social media for $45,000 to $60,000, which is far less than what the genuine exotic supercars cost”. 

The “company”, Autos Fibra, even had an Instagram account!

Credit: autosfibra / Instagram

Descarados! The workshop even had an Instagram account and some YouTube videos, so they were not very secretive about their operation. It makes us think of how copyright and intellectual property are legal matters, of course, but also about how the notions of originality can vary from country to country. In China, for example, making knock-offs is not necessarily seen as a bad thing, as ideas are considered communal rather than individual assets. 

They really thought this through: the level of detail in the replicas is really amazing… in a criminal kind of way.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

We are not condoning criminal activity here, but you got to appreciate the craftsmanship in making all this from scratch, from used car parts and without the original blueprints for the vehicles. Only a trained eye would be able to spot the difference at first glance. The Sun UK reports: “Upon raiding the operation, police discovered eight replicas which were in the process of being assembled. Photos captured by police show some of the motors covered in dust and wrapped in plastic covers. The crooks were even fitting fraudulent badges, seats and accessories emblazoned with the iconic Italian brands”. 


Everything was seized in the raid.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

When the police arrived they found a well-oiled (pun intended!) operation. As CNN reports: “Tools, molds, fibers and frames used to manufacture the cars were also seized during the raid, police said. The shop was owned by a father and son, who were both arrested and face criminal charges for falsifying commercial property. The pair are thought to be the largest manufacturers of bootleg luxury vehicles in Brazil”. According to the two men who were arrested, they were making “legal prototypes”. Yeah, sure! 

This has happened before elsewhere in the world.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

The manufacture of bootleg luxury cars is not unique to Brazil. Nine years ago in 2010, a Thai man was made famous for his ability to build replica Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins. Thailand is one of the epicenters of global counterfeit of replicas of luxury goods. 

Social media soon found some humor on the story of the Brazilian fake Italian supercars.

This dude, Peter Malcolm, bluntly claims that he has a Lambo: do we believe him or is he just bluffing? 

These are some cool new words that need to enter the Oxford Dictionary!

Credit: @autotestdrivers / Twitter

This news story led to the creation of some fantastic new words. “Shamborghini” and “Fauxrrari” should definitely enter the dictionary as socially acceptable words. One thing is for certain, this duo, whose identity is concealed due to legal reasons, will go down in the history of counterfeiting as infamous legends. 

And some people lauded the father-son duo as true entrepreneurs, products of Latin American neoliberalism!

Credit: CNN / Facebook

As we said before, we do not condone this criminal activity. The car industry invests millions of dollars in the manufacturing, design and distribution of its products, and hundreds of jobs depend on it. But, as some social media users pointed out on CNN’s Facebook page, we gotta give them some credit. As one Gideon K. Langat pointed out: “They are actually offering a solution to the financially challenged with taste of class”. Well, if not being able to afford an Italian luxury supercar means being “financially challenged” then we all are, aren’t we?

BTW, an American father-son duo built a Lamborghini Aventador using a 3D printer!

Credit: mototrend.com

An American dad and his son were playing video games when they suddenly decided to build a replica of one of the cars featured in the game. As The Sun UK reports: “Sterling Backus was inspired to build the supercar after his son said he liked it when they were playing video game Forza Horizon 3. But as he didn’t have the budget to buy a brand-new Aventador, valued at more than £270,000, he decided to get creative. Despite having no experience, the physicist turned to 3D printing to build the impressive motor. Over the past 18 months, the duo have spent an hour each day painstakingly gluing each panel onto the home-made chassis”. Wow, that is what we call parental dedication. This dude deserves some sort of Father of the Decade award. 

READ: It’s Been Six Months And Brazil’s President Is On A Tear Stripping Rights Away From Every Vulnerable Community

El Chapo Will Spend The Rest Of His Life Behind Bars But It’s What He Told The Judge That Everyone Is Talking About

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El Chapo Will Spend The Rest Of His Life Behind Bars But It’s What He Told The Judge That Everyone Is Talking About

ABC News / YouTube

A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has sentenced drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 30 years for his role in leading Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. A life sentence was mandatory; U.S. prosecutors had asked that three decades be added onto Guzmán’s punishment.

The sentence also includes a multibillion-dollar financial penalty for the wealthy drug dealer.

The former drug lord was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

Credit: @KCRG / Twitter

A federal jury convicted Guzmán in February, finding him guilty of a raft of serious charges, from drug crimes to a murder conspiracy. His conviction included 10 counts of crimes such as narcotics trafficking, using a firearm in drug crimes and money laundering.

The 62-year-old former drug lord was extradited from his native Mexico to the US in January 2017. The terms of his extradition included a pledge that US authorities would not seek the death penalty.

The drug kingpin has repeatedly made headlines during his criminal career — first for the vast power he ruthlessly amassed and later for his seeming ability to break out of any prison in Mexico. In 2015, he escaped from a maximum security prison for the second time, after spending more than a decade eluding Mexican authorities. He lived outside the law for an additional six months, before he was captured in a high-profile operation in early 2016.

He’s also been ordered to pay more than $12 billion for his negative impacts on the country.

Drug kingpin El Chapo was ordered to forfeit more than $12.6 billion in ill-gotten drug money today. Many are already coming out with ideas on hote government should best spend that money.

While others are pointing out the irony in the government taking drug money as if it was simply taking its cut.

El Chapo’s attorney reiterated his call for a new trial over alleged misconduct by jurors.

This case was simply an inquisition. It was a show trial, and how it ended is exactly perfect for that description,” defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said. He said the government’s witnesses had included “lunatics and sociopaths and psychopaths” and that “up to five jurors broke the law — violated the law while they were judging Mr. Guzmán for crimes.”

After Guzmán was convicted, his defense team said the trial was tainted, claiming that members of the jury had ignored the judge’s orders not to read about the trial outside of court proceedings.

Guzmán plans to appeal, Lichtman said.

People were anxiously waiting to see if Guzmán would speak at his sentencing.

El Chapo spoke publicly for the first time since his conviction on Wednesday, complaining to a judge that his incarceration at a Manhattan lockup has been absolute “torture” before being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

“I’ve been forced to drink unsanitary water. I’ve been denied access to fresh air and sunlight. The only sunlight I have in my cell comes through in the air vent,” the 62-year-old convicted drug kingpin told Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan ahead of his sentencing.

Guzmán concluded his lengthy remarks by saying, “The United States is no better than any other corrupt country that you don’t respect.”

So where will El Chapo likely be spending the rest of his life?

Since he was sentenced to life, El Chapo will likely be serving that sentence in just one facility – the supermax prison just outside of Florence, Colorado. That is, of course, as long as he doesn’t successfully escape…again.

Many were just counting down the weeks or months until his third escape.

Some on Twitter pointed out that he’s already evaded authorities bascially four times now and made two high-profile escapes, including from a supposed supermax prison facility in Mexico.

Many are questioning how long it will take him and his Sinoaloa cartel to break him out of his cell in Colorado…

READ: Federal Jury Finds Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guilty On All 10 Counts, Faces Life In Prison

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