Guards attacked protest of the Wayuu community for food

During the protest, a woman was hit in the face with buckshot by the Guard. The demonstrators were demanding a special plan to get through the COVID-19 quarantine.


The Human Rights Commission of Zulia State -Codhez in Spanish- denounced that the National Guard attacked members of the Wayuu Native Venezuelan community while they were protesting in Guarero, in La Guajira.

The event took place this Sunday, April 12. For two days, at least 500 families were protesting for food, water, and other basic services, which they claim, have failed amidst the COVID-19 quarantine, decreed in the country since March 16th.

After the acting of the officers, one of the demonstrators was injuring. The attacked woman was identifying as Lisbeth Palmar, a Wayuu teacher and community leader in Guarero, according to the local journalist Gabriela Bastidas.

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The information published by the Human Rights Commission in Zulia showed that the demonstrators gathered near the Guarero checkpoint on the border with Colombia. The military arrived and shot bird-shot to the meeting.

Hunger forced to break the quarantine

The 500 families living in the community of Guarero in the Venezuelan Guajira demanded attention because they are hungry, and nobody brings them food.

The community, located only a few kilometers from the border with Colombia, at the Paraguachon crossing, claims that they have one month without the sale of food from the state-owned Mercal supermarket, and they are without water. 

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In the fourth week of the country’s quarantine, and one day before the announcement of the 30-day national alarm decree, the people of these communities said: “The coronavirus is not going to kill us, hunger will”.

The protesters ask the mayor of Guajira, Indira Fernandez, not only for food but also for water. 

Lisbeth Palmar, a Wayuu teacher and community leader in Guarero was injuring. (Photo by Codhez)

“I haven’t eaten for two days because I don’t have enough money to buy a kilo of rice. This situation will kill us before the coronavirus does,” said Gladis Fernandez, a resident of the Guarero community.

These are not the first protests in La Guajira. On April 3 in the community of Bella Vista, there were also protests for food and basic services. During the protest, National Guard officers clashed with the protesters, and six people were detaining.

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