Gerardo Oliveros stopped counting his victims when he exceeded one hundred. The so-called « Monster of Barrio Bolívar » confessed to having sexually abused more than 100 children in the Venezuelan state of Zulia (west) and has thus uncovered an outbreak of pedophilia in this region bordering Colombia
. – In mid-June, the 50-year-old man was with 10 children when he was caught by the authorities on a farm in the city of Maracaibo, the capital of Zulia, which had been the site of his misdeeds. The victims were so many that the neighbors had reported the suspicious entry and exit of minors.
Today he is the largest pedophile known in Venezuela, but he is not the only one. His case has put the spotlight on almost a dozen adults who live in Zulia and who have been arrested in recent weeks for committing sexual abuse and lewd acts against children.
This saga contains threats and manipulation, a dose that Oliveros viciously applied to his victims, all males, 13 of whom have already told the authorities how he fell in love or scared them by applying witchcraft to them.
ZULIA, TWO SPROUTS
The news has grabbed the attention of Zulia society with ups and downs, which for years has received the attacks of the Venezuelan economic crisis more harshly and since May became the national epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic with almost 2,000 infections, of the little more than 8,000 that the whole country adds, and 27 deaths, of a national total of 75.
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« Situations of extreme poverty, disorganization and chaos can cause this type of crime to precipitate, » the psychiatrist Luis Madrid explained to Efe, while noting that pedophilia is and has been « always » present in all regions of the country.
Venezuela, he pointed out, has a behavior similar to the world average of pedophilia, according to which between 2% and 5% of the population have this mental disorder, with an estimated ratio of 9 men for every woman with this paraphilia.
In compliance with this statistic, since the Oliveros case, seven other men have been captured in Zulia for child abuse, while a woman was also arrested for allowing, in exchange for money, her partner to commit lewd acts against her minor daughter. .
« Zulia is a state that is being very vulnerable for many things, including this kind of crime, » insisted the psychiatrist, recalling the electrical failures, lack of drinking water and extreme poverty in this oil-rich region.
Pedophiles, says Madrid, are ordinary and « very cunning » people who, although they have a mental disorder, may be in a state of passivity until they stop fantasizing about minors and make a « pass to act » at the time of abuse. children, which transforms them into child molesters.
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Thus, as « a good neighbor », they remember Alexander Finol, the second serial pedophile who was arrested for capturing children between 12 and 13 years old through the WhatsApp instant messaging service, in which he exchanged photographs under threat pornographic with minors.
Nicknamed « Papy Baby, » he was posing as a boy the age of the victims to extract information from them.
Later, he promoted an exchange of photographs, the content of which was escalating with sexual positions and nudity, « threatening them to harm their parents if they did not pass them photos, » the police said.
The man had already been in prison in 2015, when he was accused of committing lewd acts against his minor stepdaughter. Now, when arrested on July 2, a cell phone was seized « with a large amount of compromising evidence. »
Saúl Castellanos, a 63-year-old pensioner who knew Finol for 10 years, tells Efe that all the neighbors are « surprised » because « he didn’t look like he was doing bad things » and, on the contrary, he always behaved like » a good neighbor. «
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BELIEVE THE CHILDREN
Cases such as that of Oliveros and Finol have occurred and will most likely continue to occur throughout the Venezuelan geography, Madrid emphasizes that, at the request of the Justice, it has evaluated dozens of pedophiles once they are captured.
In Venezuela, he explains, some of these cases are not punishable because they are people with mental disorders, but those exceptions would never benefit « sexual predators » like the two serial rapists in Zulia state or repeat offenders.
For all of the above, the psychiatrist urged parents to « believe the children » and to watch how they manipulate platforms such as Tik Tok, which, according to recent measurements cited by the therapist, has become the « favorite » network of pedophiles.
Likewise, he warned that the confinement environment in which Venezuela finds itself due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is more rigid in Zulia, may be a catalyst of latent « impulsivity » in pedophiles and in patients with other disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolarity.