Two weeks ago, Venezuelan student Rufo Chacon’s life permanently changed for the worse. For the offense of peaceful protest, cops fired 52 rubber bullets in his face, leaving him permanently blind. Now, the 16-year-old-boy faces a life of challenges as he tries to adapt to his new life as a blind man in Venezuela. The boy was part of a protest demanding basic goods and cooking gas, which are in shortages. The Venezuelan movement for better conditions soon turned into a bloodbath when police officers started firing rubber bullets. Several other people were also injured, including Chacon’s sister.
On the afternoon of July 1st, Rufo Chacon, a 16-year-old Venezuelan boy, was participating in a protest against Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship. He ended up blind after policemen fired rubber bullets that hit both his eyes. Rufo Chacon and his mother, Adriana Parada, were part of a movement protesting against the shortages of basic goods such as cooking gas and food in the state of Tachira.
On Tuesday, May 14th Amnesty International requested the International Criminal Court to investigate Venezuela’s government for causing a series of “crimes against humanity”.
During a report presented in Mexico, Erika Guevara, a Director for the Americas at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International reported about several human rights violations caused by the use of force by Maduro’s Government.
Ramon Rangel, a Venezuelan Air Force General, has asked military officers to “rise up”. In a YouTube video uploaded over the weekend, Rangel expressed his concerns of Venezuela permanently becoming a communist dictatorship controlled by Maduro’s allies in Cuba.
“We have to find a way to get rid of the fear, to go out into the streets, to protest, and to seek a military union to change this political system.”
In Venezuela, self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó is failing to ignite a military revolution. As a result, 25 Venezuelan soldiers who side with him fled. They now seek asylum in the Brazilian Embassy in Caracas. Knowing that their lives are at risk for defecting, they had few options. After all, betraying Maduro can carry a life sentence.