“EL CARUPANAZO” (Latest News, May 5, 1962)

Published at: 08/05/2024 09:00 PM

  • The Carupanazo was an anti-imperialist civic-military insurrection, carried out by young members of the Navy and the National Guard, including members of the 3rd Marine Infantry Battalion and Detachment No. 77, under the command of corvette captain Jesús Teodoro Molina Villegas, Major Pedro Vegas Castejón and Lieutenant Héctor Fleming Mendoza, who led the uprising against the government of Rómulo Betancourt.
  • The insurgents numbered around 350 armed soldiers, together with rebel civilians, who occupied the streets and buildings of the city, as well as the airport and the radio station Radio Carúpano, from which they launched the manifesto that started the uprising.
  • The officers acted on behalf of the Democratic Recovery Movement and in their radio statement they stated: “Because of the betrayal of the glorious January 23, the installation of a regime of terror by Betancourt and his cabal, the repeated suspension of constitutional guarantees and the farce of Agrarian Reform, we seek the democratic restoration and reconstruction of the country.”
  • The rebel statement noted that “the Government of Romulo Betancourt has placed itself on the sidelines of principles and their unconditional minorities, despite the fact that they were the flag of the popular movement on January 23, 1958, and despite the fact that those principles were sworn in by the president. These principles have been trampled upon, the democratic regime has been usurped and the country's problems have been aggravated by this Government in the most irresponsible way, implementing irritating advantage and an increasingly aggressive and brutal repression against the people. We have risen up against these deviations and those vices, because we know that there will be no constitutional continuity as long as this sectarian and ineffective regime, which is also brutal, persists, and that is why we believe that with Rómulo Betancourt and his current cabinet there is no possibility of peace or progress”.
  • Manifests were broadcast on local radio stations, taken over by the insurgents, in the name of “democratic recovery”, calling on the civilian population to join the movement.
  • The rebellion dominated Carúpano, took Rio Caribe and San José de Areocuar; the government responded by sending 4,000 soldiers to the area. The uprisings were besieged by air, land and sea, and not receiving the expected support, from the eastern region and the rest of the country, they had no choice but to surrender.


  • 1962 is the bloodiest year of Romulo Betancourt's government. It leaves to its credit a cemetery of 900 people murdered and more than 10,000 arrested in the concentration camps of Tacarigua, Maracaibo and the mobile colonies of El Dorado.
  • January of that year was marked by the national transport strike that began in San Cristóbal, the second division of Democratic Action (Ad-Opposition or Grupo Ars) and the events in La Guaira on January 29. This was a popular civic attempt to take up arms in what was called “El Guairazo”.
  • Torture was a routine practice in the cells of the White Palace, headquarters of DIGEPOL and SIFA.
  • The Theaters of Operations (TO) were installed where stories of horror and humiliation abounded:
    1. In July 1962, TO1 was created in Cabudare, Falcón state; in the following years, more specifically in August 1964, it would be moved to Yumare and would be known as TO5.
    2. The TO3 was also known as the Urica Antiguerrilla Field, operated in the states of Lara, Portuguesa and Barinas, with a command post in El Tocuyo, and later expanded its operations to the states of Trujillo, Barinas and part of Apure.
    3. The TO4 came first in Cachipo, edo. Monagas and then moved on to Cocollar, edo. Sucre. Its area of influence encompassed the states of Anzoátegui, Monagas, Sucre, the Delta Amacuro Federal Territory, part of the Guárico state and even the south of Miranda state.
    4. TO5 in Yumare, Yaracuy.
    5. There was also the TO6, Los Apamates command post, which operated in Guárico, Miranda and the Federal District, with a command post at Apamate Airport, located in Altagracia de Orituco.
    6. In these Theaters of Operations, the methods contained in the torture manuals prepared at the School of the Americas in Panama were applied.
    7. These combined repressive actions in vast peasant areas with the application of interrogations based on torture and psychological terror to prisoners.
    8. The implementation of these practices was carried out by a team called the Prisoners of War Interrogation Service (SIPG), composed of tormentors from the different military branches, police and informers from the guerrilla ranks incorporated into their commands.
    9. The TOs were torture camps that operated for the first time in the Hacienda La Marqueseña del Edo. Barinas. It should be noted that in this place the members of the J.A. Páez detachment trained as the first Hunters unit to exterminate peasants and guerrilla fighters.
    10. This was one of the spaces where the greatest abuses and violations of human rights were perpetrated, including the hunting and shooting of numerous peasants, and the forced disappearance of political leaders such as the Pasquier brothers and Felipe Malaver.

Mazo News Team