The following report was written by, and shared with this blog by Yonart Rodriguez Avila:
Juvenile gangs and violence rise in Velasco, police responds with inefficiency
by Yonart Rodriguez Avila
A juvenile gang made up by ninth grade students from the ‘May 24’ Secondary School, has risen in the town of Velasco. The gang harasses younger students from the 7th grade, the youngest kids in the school. When class lets out, the gang members surround the 7th graders and let them know that they are the ones who run things, many times even physically hurting them which, in the long run, impedes many of these young ones from assisting class because of fear.
We must point out that this town of 10,000 inhabitants has a high rate of violence. Street fights commonly break out during the weekends, which is the only time when clubs open. A few weekends ago, there was a violent confrontation which involved more than 30 youths outside of the only club which sells alcohol.
A neighbor from 26th Avenue (near the club) witnessed the events and quickly called the local National Revolutionary Police unit located in that same area, just less than 1,000 meters from the happening. The neighbor pleaded that the police officials please arrive rapidly because the violence was escalating, as both sides were aggressively beating each other.
The officials arrived nearly one hour later, when various young men were already injured. The police violently attacked them all as well and took them away from the scene. According to another witness interviewed, this approach by the police is common, and in many cases they arrive when it is far too late.
Violence is present in the lives of even the youngest ones of our society, those who see clubs, drinking, and brawls as solutions to their infinite list of necessities, using these addictions to drown their immense desires of living in a place where they have opportunities.