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The fall of Rafael Esquivel

Huge news out of Zurich today, where several high ranking members of FIFA were arrested for alleged corruption and money laundering. One of them is Rafael Esquivel, chairman of the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) for the last 27 years and first Vice-President of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) since March. You read that right, twenty…

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Chavismo on wheels

In early April, a close relative of mine was looking everywhere for new tires. He hasn’t found anything yet. At least he isn’t the only one caught in this pickle. Car tires are part of the long, long list of stuff that is currently lacking in this country. People are doing the impossible to find them. Some…

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Aragua conflict enters new phase (Updated)

The current battle in Aragua State between the authorities and criminal gangs took a sudden shift for the worse after a massive police and military operation was held yesterday in Barrio San Vicente (located in the capital, Maracay – Venezuela’s fifth-largest city). In the early hours of Wednesday, almost 2,000 (yes, two *thoursand*) members of…

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Grenades galore (Updated)

The last few days have been quite tense in Aragua State, as an undeclared conflict between criminal gangs and the authorities heats up. It all began last Thursday when six members of the criminal gang known as “El Kilverth” (named for the leader’s alias) were killed in a shootout following their attack on a local police station near San Mateo,…

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Newsprint wars, memetic wars

Barquisimeto’s main newspaper El Impulso has announced that starting May 12th the paper will reduce its daily edition to only 8 pages. In an editorial, the paper explains the reason behind this drastic decision, putting the blame on one culprit: The Alfredo Maneiro Editorial Complex (CEAM), the State-owned provider of newsprint in the nation. The creation…

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Inside the hegemony: Huge but hollow

For all the coverage that Caracas Chronicles has given to the State’s communicational hegemony all these years, two things are certain: First, it has grown so large that it has devoured our media landscape and changed our public sphere in a drastic and overwhelmingly negative way. And second, its overall content is dedicated exclusively to…