Fierce

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

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

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Are The Women Fighting To Find The Stolen Children During The Argentine Dictatorship

Things That Matter

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Are The Women Fighting To Find The Stolen Children During The Argentine Dictatorship

Sundance Institute

During the 1970s a group of desperate Argentinian mothers began protesting government officials and holding them accountable for the human rights violations that had been committed in the military junta  known as the Dirty War. The determined women violated the government’s law against mass assembly and risked the ire of Argentina’s military dictatorship to expose the government’s human rights violations. The biggest part of their fight however had been to expose the kidnapping of over 30,000 individuals known today as “Desaparecidos” or “the disappeared.”

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (or, the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo) is a movement of Argentine mothers who campaigned to find out what happened to their children who had “disappeared” during the 1976 government takeover.

The mothers’ tragic stories began in 1976. At the time the Argentine military had toppled the presidency of Isabel Perón. According to History.com, “it was part of a larger series of political coups called Operation Condor, a campaign sponsored and supported by the United States.” The new military dictatorship resulted in the Dirty War, which was ultimately a fight against the Argentinian people. It opened doors to a period of state-sponsored torture and terrorism and saw the government turn against Argentina’s citizens, targeting those suspected of being aligned with leftist, socialist or social justice. As part of the rule of terror, the government kidnapped and killed an estimated 30,000 people. They also made great efforts to cover up the dead and missing people.

But the family members and friends of the missing victims fought for the truth.

The mothers and relatives of people who went missing during the war searched for their loved ones and began to stage protests at the Plaza de Mayo in the 1980s. 

According to History.com “Some of the mothers of the disappeared were grandmothers who had seen their daughters whisked away and presumably killed and their grandchildren given away to other families. Even after the Dirty War ended in 1983, the Grandmothers of the Plaza Mayo have searched for answers and worked to identify children who grew up without any knowledge of their true parents.”

Today the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have verified the identities of 128 stolen children, thanks to DNA identification techniques but the fight of these mothers and grandmothers lives on. Sadly, thousands of Argentinian children remain missing.

The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo is a 1985 Argentine documentary film that highlights the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

At the time of its release, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and in 2013, received an update on “Abuelas: Grandmothers on a Mission” which highlights the work of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina.

The Police’s Reaction To The Black Lives Matter Protests For George Floyd Vs. Anti-Quarantine Demonstrators Says A Lot

Things That Matter

The Police’s Reaction To The Black Lives Matter Protests For George Floyd Vs. Anti-Quarantine Demonstrators Says A Lot

Stephen Maturen / Stringer

Derek Chauvin (a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department) pinned George Floyd to the ground by kneeling on his neck for seven minutes.

For the first three minutes of being restrained Floyd (a 46-year-old Black man) pled for his life begging Chauvin to remove his knee because he couldn’t breathe. After four minutes Floyd stopped moving, and bystanders capturing video of the request determined that he was unresponsive. The aftermath of his death after sparked explosive protests and reminders, yet again, that Black people are not safe in this country and continue to. be subjected to inequality.

On Tuesday morning, video of the incident that took place on a sidewalk in Minneapolis surfaced online fueling anger and protests.

There’s so much in the video that is distressing, but hearing Floyd begging the officer to let up and repeating “I can’t breathe” is only a small part that has once fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. After all, we’ve heard those words before. In 2014, Eric Garner, uttered the same ones while dying under police brutality in New York.

At the time of his death, Floyd had been facing arrest. The officers involved in the incident had been called to the scene due to a “forgery in progress” in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Note, forgery while a serious crime is a non-violent one.

Darnella Frazier is the woman who captured the video on her phone and posted the footage on Facebook for the world to see.

On Tuesday, May 26, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced that the officers involved had been placed on leave. Later on in the day, four responding officers were fired and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the incident was being reviewed.

Reactions to the protests show another glaring reminder of the treatment of Black people in the United States vs. white.

Reactions to anti-mask protests and demonstrations against government stay-at-home orders in the past few weeks have been met with stoic reactions.

You’ve seen the images. In the face of demonstrators furious about the safety restrictions implemented to combat COVID-19, police officers and government officials have responded primarily with nonviolence. We’ve seen no stun grenades or tear gas.

But the crowds of Black protestors rallying for “Justice for George” have been met with riot gear and chemical agents. According to reports around 8:00 pm of the protests police in riot gear fired sandbag rounds, rubber bullets, and pepper spray.

Once again, Black people are being forced to fight for their lives while non-Black people of color get off easy while saying or doing little from the sidelines.