Civilians in the Venezuelan militia to add up one million
Maduro: All slums will have to be for the militia: with its rifle, its organization to defend the homeland
From a local community to the east of Caracas, Maduro said that "sooner than later the militia will be comprised by one million civilians and, at that moment, all slums will have to be for the militia: with rifles, an organization to defend the homeland (...) not with individual weapons to engage in actions against society, robbing and kidnapping."
The militias were founded by Venezuelan late President Hugo Chávez as a body to support the Bolivarian National Armed Force. Based on their principles, they are comprised by civilians for the "total defense of the nation."
The Government refers to the militias as "people in arms," yet foes have stressed the creation of these groups seeks the militarization of the whole Venezuelan society.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.