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.
Life Forever Changed
“They ruined my son’s life … He was fanatical about computers, now he is asking to die, I want justice.” – Adriana Parada
With hopes of changing the political scene in his country, Rufo enjoyed participating in protests. Little did he know that in a few short minutes, his life would permanently change for the worse. Everyone hopes for great outcomes in life, but unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Rufo; he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
According to Adriana Parada, Rufo’s mother, he was a happy kid who enjoyed fixing computers and cellphones. In a few seconds, all of this changed when the Maduro regime’s police fired many rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the protesters.
Dr. Ramirez, the leading doctor taking care of Rufo in the State capital of San Cristobal, confirmed that 52 rubber rounds had hit Chacon. “Unfortunately he has permanently lost his sight”, Dr. Ramirez stated.
Justice for Rufo Chacon?
“This incident is a one-off case. We repudiate this incident involving two policemen” – Jesus Arteaga
Jesus Arteaga, the director of Tachira’s law enforcement, said that they are currently investigating the reports of excessive police force. He also said that the cops responsible for injuring Chacon will face legal consequences.
“We will not get used to it, we will not stop calling them murderers… nor will we get used to the sadistic act against the eyes of Rufo Chacon who also did not get used to living without gas in a country that had plenty.” – Juan Guaidó
Juan Guaidó, the interim president of Venezuela, took advantage of the current violence in the streets of Venezuela to disavow police brutality on the part of the Maduro regime. As the political situation of Venezuela becomes increasingly unstable, stories like these may, unfortunately, become more common. Thus, cases like this remind us of how dangerous Venezuela’s current climate is.
Innocent people are in the cross-fire between keeping their heads down or taking a stand like Rufo Chacon. But too often, they pay a high price for demanding a more dignified life that should’ve been theirs in the first place.
Originally published on 71Republic