Venezuela: the mysterious case of 16 people who were reported missing and who were in a ‘religious retreat’
The mystery of the disappearance of 16 people for 10 days, in a mountainous area of Venezuela, has finally been solved.
After almost two weeks of unsuccessful search in the mountains of the Táchira state, bordering Colombia, the Intelligence Corps located this group made up of two families, who were «praying» in a «spiritual retreat», according to what they told the authorities, informed RT.
The governor of that entity, Freddy Bernal, reported on his Twitter account that the the families were located «thanks to the effective actions» of various security agencies, including the Corps of Criminal and Criminalistic Scientific Investigations (CICPC), the National Anti-Extortion and Kidnapping Command (CONAS) and Civil Protection.
In addition, according to a tweet from the head of the Public Ministry, Tarek William Saab, Prosecutor 27 also participated in the investigations.
The 16 people, who were in «full health», were located in the Páramo La Negra sector, which is part of the Juan Pablo Peñaloza General National Park, between the city of La Grita (Táchira) and the town of Tovar (Mérida).
In an interview for the newspaper La Nación, the mayor of the municipality of Jáuregui, Juan Carlos Escalante, had stated that the group had stayed to pray in a house that was used as a warehouse and that it did not have the conditions or comforts for this type of activity.What happened in Venezuela?
For days, information was circulating on social networks about the disappearance of these people, among whom were a baby and several minors, without there being any official statement until this week.
According to Diario de Los Andes, these people were last seen on August 22. The main hypothesis about their transfer to the mountains always pointed to the celebration of some kind of religious ritual. However, as there was no more information, there were speculations about the cult they professed and the reasons for not communicating with their relatives.A religious retreat
The alarm was activated because, initially, the retreat was scheduled to last four days. After that period, there was no information on the whereabouts of the 16 people.
Another unusual detail, according to the director of Táchira Civil Protection, Yesnardo Canal, was that the woman who was their ‘guide’ «known by the community and by the parish priests of the municipality», had not notified the church about that. exercise.
The investigations were made in the Jáuregui and Uribante municipalities, areas with pronounced peaks and slopes.
Images of the deployment of drones between the mountains were uploaded on the networks.“It is not normal” for Venezuela
The authorities also found it unusual that there were no further complaints following this disappearance.
This week, the Táchira security chief and state police chief, Wilman Rivera, stated that it was not «normal» that there were not «a large number of people asking the security forces for information about these people».
In addition, he recalled that the complaint was made by the father of a baby who was taken to the «spiritual retreat» by his mother.