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World: "You fired on my granddaughter!": Police violence pointed out to Venezuela

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Des habitants du quartier de La Dolorita manifestent après la mort de la jeune Yadimar, morte après avoir reçu une balle dans la tête lorsque des policiers présumés ont tiré sur sa maison pendant qu'elle dormait. Image prise le 20 novembre 2022 © Yuri Cortez of the inhabitants of the Dolorita district demonstrate after the death of the young Yadimar, who died after receiving a bullet in The head when alleged police officers shot her house while she was sleeping. Image taken on November 20, 2022

Maria Eugenia Segovia accuses a police officer of having killed his 11-year-old granddaughter in a slum of Caracas, showing the hole that the ball left in a window in her house.

The policeman says he saw "a shadow", but "he shot him", accuses this 54 -year -old woman, remembering the tragedy lived on November 13.

His granddaughter, Yadimar, was sleeping quietly when a projectile reached him at the back of the head after crossing one of the bars of his window and broke the window.

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Miscellaneous facts like this are not uncommon and complaints against the police are multiplying. The NGO Observatory of Venezuelan Violence (OVV), a reference in this area in the absence of official figures, identified more than 700 victims during the first half of the year.

Maria Eugenia Segovia says he confronted the police officer and a colleague who accompanied him. I went to see him, I put myself in front of him and said to him: "They shot the child, you fired on my granddaughter," she says. "They turned around and fled".

Jenny Arriaza Elias pleure au-dessus du cercueil de sa fille lors de ses funérailles au cimetière de Guarenas, dans l'État de Miranda, au Venezuela, le 21 novembre 2022 © Miguel Zambrano Jenny Arriaza Elias cries above her daughter's coffin during her funeral at the Guarenas cemetery, in Miranda, Venezuela, on November 21, 2022

at least five people were arrested for this crime, according to scientific police. "I have no confirmation that they are police officers," said a spokesperson for the prosecution.

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- Extrajudicial executions -

Human rights organizations have identified more than 4,000 extrajudicial executions in 2020 and 2021 in the context of crime control operations, which they call "state policy" extermination.

In a climate of generalized impunity, dramas like that of Yadimar, in which there is an "individual" responsibility of a police officer or a group of police officers, are not rare, estimates the director of OVV Roberto Briceño Leon.

Violence has "moved" from criminals to the police, he denounces, considering that "in a good part of the country, the police have made more victims and dead than the criminals themselves".

Famille et amis de Yadimar assistent à sa veillée funèbre à son domicile à Caracas, le 20 novembre 2022 © Yuri Cortez family and friends of Yadimar attend his funeral vigil at his home in Caracas, on November 20, 2022

The neighbors and the family of little Yadimar claim that the police have searched a young man not far from his house and that relatives have come out to complain. The agents, who according to Maria Eugenia Segovia belonged to the Directorate of Military Counter-Esation (DGCIM), called "reinforcements", who entered the street by pulling, according to her story. Others say the police had drunk.

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Famille et amis de Yadimar assistent à sa veillée funèbre à son domicile à Caracas, le 20 novembre 2022 © Yuri Cortez family and friends of Yadimar attend his funeral vigil at his home in Caracas, on November 20, 2022

the relatives of the girl, who filed a complaint with the justice, claim "more control" on the law enforcement. "We cannot be more afraid of them than from the street itself," laments Yuleimy Valencia, 34, cousin of the young victim.

- "Like your father" -

The UN itself expressed its concern in the face of "extrajudicial executions" in the country, among the most violent in the world. The Office of the Attorney General defends himself against accusations of impunity by affirming that 358 security agents have since been convicted of human rights violations.

COFAVIC, one of the country's largest NGOs, believes that "98% of human rights violations are never surveyed".

Several dozen people attended the funeral of the young Yadimar, wearing white balloons and flowers and singing children's nursery rhymes.

The girl had been entrusted to her grandmothers by her mother Jenny Ariaza Elias, who went to Peru to seek a sister at the time of the drama.

Irony of fate: the father had been killed nine years ago by a lost ball during a shooting between criminals.

Lack of money to fly, Jenny Ariaza Elias traveled several thousand kilometers by road to say goodbye to her daughter: "My child, they killed you as they killed your father".

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