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Tongue and fingers being chopped off - a video from Venezuela is shared as atrocities on dalits in India

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On September 28, a Twitter user Malik Mahboob Sultan tweeted a gruesome video in which a young man's tongue and fingers were chopped off. The caption of his tweet reads, "This is just one of the example of facist Indian BJP atrocities against minorities living inside India. This type of cruelty actions can be seen everyday under Modi regime in India. Where is UNO, Where are human rights champion?".

You can watch the video here:

On Dec 1, one of our readers tagged us in the tweet to debunk this video.

Our Investigation

A simple keyword search on Google led us to a report by Daily star dated 15th Jan 2019. According to the report, a 19-year-old Leocer Jose Lugo Maiz was caught by the Venezuelan Army during a raid on the illegal Yin Yan gold mine. Maiz himself was serving in the Army but he was declared a ‘deserter’ after he went missing. Further, the report suggested that he, among others, had been trying to subsist on illicit gold mining. Upon being caught by the Army, Maiz’s eyes were gouged out and his tongue and his fingers cut.

We compared the clothes and look of the victim in the video and pictures used in the report and could establish the fact that the video is of the same incident. Even the tattoo on the victim's body matched.

The incident was tweeted by Bram Ebus, a journalist and investigator from Colombia and Venezuela. His tweet reads, "Today a youngster was found with his hands amputated, his eyes gouged out and his tongue cut off. Physical mutilation as a warning and a punishment is unfortunately nothing new in Venezuela's mining regions."

Other journalists from Venezuela had also tweeted about the incident.



The incident did not take place in India. It is from Venezuela’s El Callao where a man’s fingers and tongue were cut off and his eyes gouged out.

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