WARNING: Some of the links contain very strong images.
The latest report by the Caracas Metropolitan Council (Cabildo Metropolitano) confirms that Caracas is also the murder capital of Venezuela: 18% of all homicides happened under the gaze of Waraira Repano. One grim consequence of all the bloodletting has been to push the only morgue in town well beyond its breaking point.
For years, the Bello Monte Morgue has been left to its own devices to deal with the fast growth in violent deaths. When El Nacional, a major national newspaper published a dantesque photo of conditions there 0n its front page, it provoked not just a huge uproar but a direct attempt at censorship by the Judiciary. The tizzy-fit over that photo somewhat obscured the underlying reality that the place still lacks the human and material resources to cope with the tsunami of corpses it’s expected to handle.
Over the years, the Interior Ministry has presented and then abandoned a couple of plans to build a new morgue for Caracas. Now it looks like a definitive location has finally been chosen in El Llanito, a neighborhood in the East of the city, near Petare. The catch is that neither local authorities nor the people in the neighborhood were consulted in any way.
The planned morgue would be housed inside an existing CICPC (Venezuela’s FBI – guardando las salvedades) facility, located in an area surrounded by homes and schools: not exactly an ideal location for that kind of place. The protests could be dismissed as NIMBYism, but considering we’re supposed to have a participative democracy, you have to wonder that construction was launched without any type of warning.
The Mayor of Sucre Municipality (and MUD candidate for Miranda State Governor), Carlos Ocariz has offered an alternative location in one of the headquarters of the municipal police, in an area removed from residential use. The ministry’s response on both proposals has been of absolute silence. Apparently, if you want participatory democracy, you have to vote for a chavista mayor first.
Full report about violence in the Metropolitan Area of Caracas can be found here.