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"Junior"

By Aleksander Boyd

Junior was the only child of a divorced couple. As such he received the undivided attention of his humble parents, whom did the utmost to bring him up in the best possible way. Unlike his parents, he never had to live in "barrios" or to suffer the extreme hardship that is part of that sad reality. The parents, father anaesthetist and mother paediatrician, with incredible commitment and sacrifice managed to break out from the "barrios" and became part of what is known today as Venezuelan oligarchs, i.e. people who work hard for a living. They are not white although the father has green eyes, which for some can be considered as a phenotype of the upper class. They were educated in public schools and have a very humble background but none of that matters. What makes them a target is that they have a car, live in an apartment not in a "rancho" and every now and then take holidays abroad.

Junior was a bright and lovely lad. He made it to the reputable Simon Bolivar University, after graduation he went to Spain for a master's degree, which he completed without too much problem. Such a feat made his parents extremely proud of their son and they sow the seed of emigration in Junior's head knowing the uncertain future for young people in Venezuela.

Junior returned from Spain, beating all odds he received an offer he could not refuse from a major IT company. Riddled with joy he passed the incredible news to his parents whom could not believe his son's luck. Such an opportunity had to be celebrated; he called his girlfriend to go out instructing her that he would pick her up that night. As agreed he gave her a ring to come downstairs. When she came out of her building Junior was not there, she called him and called him on his mobile with no answer. Desperate, she decided to call Junior's house to check on his whereabouts alas his mother did not know where he was either.

The search for lost people start commonly at the morgue; police forces were notified to no avail. I imagine the sheer desperation of his parents -both having access to hospitals and clinics due to their professions- of not knowing were his only son was. One day after, the dreaded call shook them, Junior's body was found in a pitch with a shot in his forehead, his car and belongings gone, his promising life taken away by one of those dammed criminals whom nowadays enjoy carte blanche due to the absolute lack of police presence in the streets of Caracas.

Junior was 22 years of age; his life was only one among the hundred or so, which were extinguished that particular weekend. There are no words or adjectives that can be correctly used to describe the feelings of Junior's parents. Unfortunately, Hugo Chavez or the "champion of the poor" as some people like to call him, has reduced the national security budget to 0.2 % of GDP and the country's crime rate during his tenure has jumped from 8th to 2nd highest among Latin American countries. Quite obviously he does not care about lost lives or protection of his fellow countrymen. The wretched revolution after all is more important than the Juniors of Venezuela.



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