By Sarah Kinosian, Vivian Sequera
July 18, 2021
CARACAS, July 18 (Reuters) – “Leave the area! Get the kids out!” screamed gang members walking through western Caracas’ El Cementerio barrio with megaphones the morning of Thursday, July 8. The warning told residents in Venezuela’s capital shooting would not soon stop.
By then barrio residents had already been sheltering in place for more than half a day, whole families prone on the floor to avoid unrelenting gunfire. But for the next 48 hours, El Cementerio and five nearby neighborhoods were paralyzed by an unprecedented display of firepower by gangs, known by neighbors as “the boys.”