Like everything else about Venezuela’s violence epidemic this chart, put together by Amherst Political Scientist Javier Corrales together with one of his research students, is deeply troubling. Plot countries’ murder rates against their per capita income and, not surprisingly, you find richer countries are less violent. Venezuela, though, lies far off the trend line, in on a gory murder plateau that only far smaller, far poorer countries usually occupy.
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Jamaica…you can see how very small, very poor countries like those would have trouble mustering the resources to establish order again if faced with a big spike in violent crime.
But Venezuela is neither tiny nor resource poor. We’ve had 1,000,000,000,000 petrodollars (yup, that’s a trillion) rain on us over the last 13 years, plus we’ve gone through a revolution that was supposed to usher in an era of universal brotherhood and harmony built on a platform of social justice. Yet still we’ve seen the murder rate quadruple.
How could a country this rich get to be this violent?! That’s the question I try to get at in my new IHT Blog Post.
[Hat Tip: J.Corrales.]