CARACAS – Relatives and dozens of supporters of Venezuelan police officer Oscar Perez, who mutinied against the Nicolas Maduro government, paid their final respects to him at a Mass at a Caracas cemetery early Sunday morning, although he was buried by the authorities with only two family members present.
A priest paid tribute to the “memory” of the 36-year-old policeman, killed last Monday by government security forces along with six of his insurrectionist group, and acknowledged “his ideals of freedom and justice,” EFE learned.
Perez – whose mother, wife and children are abroad – was buried by the authorities and against the will of his family.
Only his aunt and a cousin attended the burial and they were not allowed any input regarding how the funeral was handled.
At the burial site, marked by a simple stone bearing Perez’s name, a woman sang “Ave Maria” and a man flew a kite with the word “Freedom” written on it.
Two of Perez’s group who were killed in the police raid – Abraham Agostini and Jose Diaz Pimentel – are also buried in the same cemetery in eastern Caracas.
The other group members killed included Lisbeth Ramirez, brothers Abraham and Jairo Lugo and journalist Daniel Soto.
According to the death certificates received by relatives of the seven dead, six of them died from gunshots to the head during the police raid on the house where the group – whom the government has called “terrorists” – had holed up.
A series of videos posted by Perez just minutes before he was killed show him trying to negotiate his surrender with government security forces.
More than 20 people – including several Venezuelan army officers – have been arrested in connection with the case.