Venezuelan Beauty Queens Organize Against Government Violence
More than one hundred of Venezuela's most prominent beauty queens have founded a group to protest the government's inability to stop and, in many cases, propensity to foment violence in their country. "Misses4Peace" released a video with messages attacking the government for letting the situation continue.
The ad hoc organization, founded by former Miss Trujillo Angelika Hernandez Dorendorf, features a number of the most prominent beauty queens in the country. It surfaced on the internet last week on the same day that Genesis Carmona, a 22-year old beauty queen crowned Miss Carabobo, was shot in the face while protesting against President Nicolás Maduro's violations of human rights. While its official statement describes the group as "not a political initiative," it leaves little room to interpret to whom they assign the blame:
Venezuela, that today mourns the recent and violent loss of two of our beauty queens: Monica Spear and Genesis Colmenares [sic] as well as thousands of young men and women who have left their homes in the last 15 years never to return, victims of violent crime or brutally attacked for protesting peacefully. Our country is at the top of a shameful list: one of the most violent countries in the World. Therefore, we feel the need to cry out as a group and ask the entire globe to pray for Venezuelas [sic] PEACE!
Monica Spear, a former Miss Venezuela and soap opera star, was gunned down with her ex-husband and five-year old daughter during a family vacation last month. Spear, 29, was one of seventy people killed in Venezuela in the first week of the year. It is not believed, however, that Spear's death was a product of any political inclinations on her part, but merely of the skyrocketing crime rates in Venezuela since Hugo Chávez took the reins in 1999.
While the government officially declared Carmona's death a result of attacks by anti-government protesters, the man who carried Carmona to the hospital told Univisión's Jorge Ramos that the shooters were wearing socialist red shirts and were, without a doubt, Chavistas. Carmona and the other woman known to have been officially murdered during protests, 23-year old Geraldine Moreno Orozco, were both shot in the face, presumably to prevent families from having open caskets at funerals, photos of which would make the media rounds.
While the Misses4Peace initiative only includes Venezuelan beauty queens, others from neighboring countries have volunteered to chip in. Spanish newspaper ABC reports that Miss Brasil Internacional 2013, Cristina Alves, and Miss Mundo México 2004, Dafne Molina, have offered their support, as well as celebrities like Franco De Vita and Ricky Martin. The Latin American celebrity world has been overwhelmingly supportive of protests against Maduro, in sharp contrast with Hollywood, which has long supported the Chavez regime.
Watch the video of beauty queens united against the human rights abuses of the Maduro regime below: