By Federico Fuentes, Green Left Weekly
As security forces repressed anti-government protests in the capital, a military police operation to break up a protest camp left 10 civilians dead, with witnesses claiming they were killed execution-style.
None of this made it into the international media however, because it happened in Brazil, not Venezuela.
While the corporate media has given ample coverage to the violent right-wing protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, falsely blaming the government for most of the deaths that have occurred in recent weeks, almost no media outlet covered the massacre at a landless peasants’ camp in the Brazilian state of Para on May 24.
The deaths occurred the same day that right-wing President Michel Temer – who took power via a constitutional coup – called on the military to repress a march of 150,000 protesters in the capital, Brasilia, the latest in a growing wave of protests calling for immediate general elections.
Nine men and one woman died as a result of the joint local and military police operation that sought to dislodge a small community of landless peasants that was occupying unused land belonging to a local large landowner.
According to survivors, when security forces arrived at the farm, the occupiers attempted to run away, with a group seeking shelter from the rain under a tent. They were then surrounded and fired upon, with the dead bodies being moved from the site before proper forensics of the crime scene could be carried out.
Local police were heard laughing and cheering as the military police fired upon the peasants.
The deaths take the number of peasants killed so far this year by security forces or paramilitary groups in Brazil to 37.