sandwich is still intact on the table. Wilmito turns on the DVD and prepares the
television for us to watch the show while we have dinner. Voces de la Libertad
is an orchestra of prisoners that plays versions of great classics of salsa. On
the album cover, I count the names of eighteen people, including technical
staff, choristers, singers and musicians. The first piece we hear is Aguanilé,
the old song that Héctor Lavoe and Willie Colón recorded in a memorable plaque
called El Juicio, of 1972, more recently sung by Marc Anthony. The musicians
present themselves on a stage that has nothing to envy those seen in the
concerts of the established bands.
is a party we gave here on the day of Our Lady of Las Mercedes, patron of
stage, he says, was placed at the back of the penitentiary, in the playground, a
diamond-shaped ground where they usually play baseball.
October of 2002, when he was 20 years old, Wilmito went to a matinee function at
the Atenas nightclub, very fashionable in Ciudad Bolívar, with a friend who was
carrying a pistol. Wilmito, dressed in the jacket of the national team of
Venezuela, a piece with the colors of the national flag, was talking with some
friends when the police arrived at the premises to do a search. He was already a
man known for his sporting merits and, taking advantage of that circumstance,
his friend handed him the gun he was carrying, to avoid problems. That night,
none was spared from the search.
think the policeman saw me when I received the “iron”. Everything went very
fast. They took my gun, handcuffed me and arrested me. Suddenly things changed
says that until that moment he had never committed a crime. But that is not
true, as I verified after my visit by checking his criminal record. Since May
13, 2001, he was requested by the sub-delegation of Ciudad Bolívar for robbery.
A week later, May 20, he stole again and also did it on October 19, 2001.
According to police records, he had committed three offenses before being
captured in the nightclub, but he preferred to ignore that
the disco, he was taken to the jail in Vista Hermosa, where he spent six months.
During the first four days, he never left the room. He had managed to get the
protection of one of the leaders of the pavilion where he was staying, Luis
Oswaldo Martínez. They did not let him see the coliseums, knife fights between
prisoners confronted by some dispute, and that are ordered by the pran so
that the disputes are resolved. He stopped feeding himself like an athlete
(white meat, vegetables, and natural juices) to eat flours and at the wrong
leaving prison with a precautionary measure, the National Sports Institute (IND)
submitted its case to the consideration of a disciplinary court in Caracas,
which decided to expel him from the national pre-selection of boxing. Wilmito
returned disappointed to his home, not wanting to continue training, despite the
support given by his mentor, Ángel Salaverría. He had been left out of the
his mother, was unemployed, in the middle of a fierce economic contraction due
to the Venezuelan oil industry's strike in early 2003. Wilmito began to frequent
the friends of the slum who did not have a life but a record. Vidalina asked him
not to join the delinquents of the slum. But he had a certainty: he believed
that men can never get away from his criminal record, and he, although small,
already had one.
first time he participated in a robbery, it was of a gold and diamond trader at
the Ciudad Bolívar airport, a modest terminal that only receives one commercial
flight per day from Caracas. Apart from that, planes usually land there with
people who transport metals -gold, diamonds- from the mines in the south and
west of the State. It was a simple operation, in which he only watched the backs
of the peers who assaulted the trader. That debut was followed by several
similar operations until, accused of a crime he never acknowledged - the
kidnapping of Juliano Elías Abboud, a well-known Arab merchant in the area, on
September 26, 2004 – he returned to Vista Hermosa for the second time. It was
2005, and Wilmito was willing to become a