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The resistance behind the masks

They cover their faces with masks or t-shirts. They improvise shields for self protection. They prepare and throw homemade bombs. They build barricades with whatever they get, and when they go to the marches, they are seen at the head of the protesters confronting the State security forces. Although not all the people who identify with the resistance know each other or act in the same way in the conflict zones located in the metropolitan area of Caracas, these are the main elements that distinguish the members of these groups, which are mostly from popular sectors and that, despite not ideologically connecting with the government of Nicolás Maduro, do not always follow the agenda of the Venezuelan opposition.

6/21/2017 10:59:46 AM

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The shields lean down on the trunk of a tree surrounded by cement benches at Francia square in Altamira, Caracas.

It's 12 noon on Sunday, June 4th. The members of the different clash groups, known as "The Resistance" among the opponents of the regime of Nicolas Maduro, who have emerged with the opposition protests that began last April, after the Supreme Court of Justice, through two sentences, conferred dictatorial powers to Maduro, have gathered in that place. In one of the seats we find Luis, a fourth semester student of Psychology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. For protection, he asks to be identified by this name. He wears a light blue jean and a short sleeve t-shirt that, in spite of its intense blue, does not conceal the rosary with a small Venezuelan flag hanging from his neck.

"It was given to me by a woman who came to the square one day. She brought several and distributed it among the brothers so that we may pray and take care of ourselves", says the 26-year-old. As he crosses one of his legs, a picture of the Virgin of the Valley falls to the ground, the most important Marian devotion in the East of the country. I don't know where it came from, I'm sure one of the many people who comes to support us left it in my pocket", he says.