Rule of lawlessness

If the previous post wasn’t enough, there is a newly released report that confirms this fact: We don’t like laws very much. The Rule of Law Index 2012 (made by the  NGO World Justice Project) finds that Venezuela isn’t just the worst law-abider in Latin America. We’re also rock bottom in government transparency, regulatory enforcement…

Cúcuta Chronicles

A gringo crosses the border. A guest post from Jonathan Pfaehler. The Colombo-Venezuelan border is a two-faced, majestic beauty burdened by the protracted armed conflict in Colombia, the massive drug trade, and the illegal armed groups that enter and leave both countries as if there were no immigrations controls in a European-like fashion. The palm…

UN: Poverty went up in Venezuela

So says the United Nations Economic Comission on Latin America (ECLAC, or CEPAL for Spanish speakers). The caveat: they are talking about 2010-2011., and the rise was modest. Still, the findings make a punchy headline. Full report is here.

16-D Races to Watch: Bolívar

Four years ago, the largest state in the country was proof of how internal division can doom the opposition’s chances. Now, history repeats itself, but it’s chavismo suffering from squabbles. Chavismo believes the result of last October still gives them hope of retaining the State governorship, but the split in their ranks could give a…

Great reading for the day

Don’t miss this reportage by the supremely talented Maye Primera (in Spanish), an excerpt of an upcoming book, courtesy of Prodavinci. It’s about the deaths in the Retén de Catia twenty years ago. It’s sad to see that impunity lives on, in spite of chavismo’s empty promises. And … on a slightly lighter note (!),…

Where’s Waldo? Update

Felicito a los y las Graduandas de la I Cohorte del Diplomado en Saberes Africanos! Viva la Madre Africa!!— Hugo Chávez Frías (@chavezcandanga) November 01, 2012 That’s chavezcandanga’s last tweet, from November 1st. Since then, the comandante presidente’s twitter account has been… silent. This is not an isolated event. His public apperances have been declining…

Twenty years of that

Few people alive in Venezuela twenty years ago will forget November 27th, 1992. That day, we woke up to another coup d’etat attempt, only this one was happening right above our rooftops. Watching this video, I have to wonder – who are these guys? They don’t look like high-ranking chavista officials. Where is the gordito…

The Dilemma

The debate over whether rank-and-file Chávez voters deserve any share of responsibility for the myriad outrages of the Chávez era has produced more heat than light so far – probably due to the use of some colorful but over-blown hyperbole in the original post’s headline. But I want to touch on it just one more…

Accomplices Galore

I’m with Juan here. It’s not as if Judge Afiuni’s rape and torture story is some kind of freak exception. The dire, dire human rights situation inside Venezuelan jails has been public knowledge for years. Venezuelan human rights bodies have researched it in detail. International human rights organizations have written about it ad nauseam. Hell,…

8,191,132 rapists

Yesterday we learned that Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni, Hugo Chávez’s most visible political prisoner, was tortured and raped while in jail. She bravely told her story in a book by Venezuelan journalist Francisco Olivares. The situation at the INOF women’s prison – where sexual assault and prostitution are the norm – is nothing short of…