The death of Karla Ríos, a feminicide that could have been avoided

Karla had a five-year relationship with Edward Chacon, the prime suspect in her murder. After they separated, she reported him to the police, but the authorities only detained the man briefly. She spent her last days running from him.

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Karla was a businesswoman. She was mother of two children. One day, she decided to end her five-year relationship with Edward Chacon because she got tired of his physical and verbal abuse.

By Daisy Galaviz.

Karla Rios Rodriguez, 39, was murdered on the night of Friday, July 31, on the ground floor of her building, located on Avenida Baralt in Caracas, Venezuela.

The main suspect is her former partner Edward Chacon, a man with whom she lived for five years. She separated from him, tired of verbal and physical abuse. She denounced him, but he detained briefly; after that, she spent her last days trying to escape from him.

Friday night, Karla went downstairs from her apartment to take a parcel to her niece waiting there. Without knowing it, and despite the radical quarantine by the Covid-19, in the street was Chacon, who went after her. Two shots were heard.

People close to the victim told El Pitazo that after they saw the lady lying on the sidewalk, they informed her mother of what occurred; they took her to Vargas Hospital, but she arrived without any vital signs. Karla got shot in the chest and the head.

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Caracas has been described by the Nicolas Maduro regime as the main focus of Covid-19 in Venezuela, with already 4,661 citizens infected and 41 death. However, according to data provided by the feminicide monitor, Utopix, the isolation has not prevented women from continuing to be victims of aggression, since of 21 femicides registered in the country during June, three occurred in the capital.

Authorities did not help her

Sources close to the victim, who would have turned 40 August 5, says that in early March, Karla decided after five years, to end the relationship with Edward Chacon because she had grown tired of his physical and verbal abuse. They say that she decided to leave him after he pointed a gun to her head and threatened to kill her.

After ending the relationship and leaving Chacon, the victim went to the Scientific and Investigations Police (Cicpc in Spanish), on Urdaneta Avenue, and reported him. His relatives said the man was arrested, but they say he was fined and released. But a fine is a code. There is no fine for physical abuse in Venezuela, and Chacon should have been in custody while the allegations were investigated.

“I lived that separation with Karla. The day they argued, I went to help her so that she wouldn’t be attacked, and he wouldn’t do anything to her truck. He wasn’t like that, I don’t know at what point in life he went crazy. The last year of their relationship, he changed and started yelling at her, hitting her, threatening her, with jealousy,” says a friend of the victim who prefers to leave her name anonymous.

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After they separated, Karla spent three days at a friend’s house to protect herself from her abuser. She asked family members to help her change the lock on her apartment so she would feel safer, but she didn’t succeed: “After spending that weekend on the run, she went home. It turns out that Edward spent those three days hiding inside her apartment even after they changed the lock. So, she returned with her 15-year-old son and went to bed. At midnight she heard the door to her room opening. It was him… with a gun and a knife threatening her to come with him, or he was going to kill her. She only asked him not to do anything to her son. He took her away for three days to a motel until he allowed her to leave,” the friend said.

After this episode, Karla decided to leave her home. She went to hide in the apartment of her sister, who had migrated from the country. She spent a month there. When she decided to return to her home, she found the apartment vandalized: Edward had entered the building and smashed her TV, mattresses, furniture, paintings, and microwave oven; he also destroyed documents like her visa and the fabrics she used to make her bathing suits.

Edward, who lives in the Palos Grandes and has a delicatessen store on Avenida Romulo Gallegos, did not stop sending her videos threatening to kill himself if he did not return with him. One of those videos went viral on social networks this weekend, in which he concludes saying “I forgive you.”

“The guy killed her because he was crazy. He wouldn’t leave her alone. He was jealous of the world. Karla was quite beautiful and had suitors, but she never cheated on him. Her death could be avoided. The complaint was made,” says someone very close to the victim.

Karla had two children from another relationship: a young woman, 18 years old, who lives outside the country, and a teenager, 15 years old, who was at a house from a neighbor at the time of the murder.

The victim was a businesswoman. She was a designer and manufactured swimwear that he sold through his company called Karly Ross Creations. Last Sunday, she was laid to rest at the Valles funeral home and then taken to the Jardin La Puerta Cemetery.

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