It is not the first time that indigenous people have faced the National Guard (GN) officers and defeated them. The frustrated military incursion on Monday night in the community of San Antonio del Morichal was the fourth in the last three years.
In Caracas, 13 Pemon men remain in jail for allegedly trying to unseat the ruler Nicolás Maduro last year.
A group of Maduro-regime military officers who broke into the mentioned sector, located on the border with Brazil, in Santa Elena de Uairen, municipality of Gran Sabana, ended up tied up, lectured to and in native custody.
The Pemon have settlements on the Venezuelan as well as on the Brazilian side of the border. Usually, governments on both sides grant them a free pass over the country border, especially now that Brazil recognizes that they are undergoing a severe humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
According to the Pemon men, the soldiers burst into the community with the support of one of the recently imposed leaders, Engracia Suarez. Their aim, supposedly, was to intimidate a group of Pemon who have been speaking out for some two months against the Maduro regime, and the harsh conditions it seeks to impose for a COVID-19 quarantine.
During the raid, the Venezuelans officials crossed into Brazilian territory, ignoring the law of the land. There, they jumped by a gang of Pemon, who proceeded to tie them up and “in custody” on the Brazilian side of the border.
To July 28 in the morning, it is still not known what happened to the regime soldiers who tried to fight the Pemon in their turf. Reports that they were let go, or handed over to Brazilian authorities have not confirmed.
In December 2019, 13 Pemon were arrested and locked up in the cells of the General Directorate of Military Counter-Intelligence (Dgcim) in Caracas, ignoring the special legal protection afforded to Native Venezuelans.
The regime argues that the Pemon supported a gang of the anti-Maduro military who broke into the Luepa Fort in the Gran Sabana to steal weapons and start an uprising called “Operation Wey Paka” or “Dawn” in Pemon.
The regime says a gang of barefoot Pemon entered Luepa and disarmed an entire platoon and, when the rebellion didn’t succeed, helped rebels cross into Brazil and escape regime retaliation. Today, the 13 are held in the El Rodeo prison in precarious conditions.
In February of 2019, following a massacre in Kumarakapay when five indigenous people got killed by regime forces, the Pemon arrested a general named Rojas and two of his aides. They held them as prisoners for several hours until they were sure there would be no more armed attacks on their community.
Already in December 2018, following the murder of a Pemon man in Canaima, the Pemon confronted a commission of military personnel who arrived in the area to support mining expeditions; they forced the military to flee, arresting and disarming one of the officers, who got interrogated about his presence in the area.