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Marcelo Crovato, Jailed for Defending Human Rights, Gets House Arrest

After ten months behind bars, laywer Marcelo Crovato was released yesterday from the notoriously violent Yare III Prison. He’s been put under house arrest by the order of a local court. Crovato was arrested back in April while defending Chacao residents whose houses were raided by the authorities. His personal situation worsened as his trial was delayed. He could hardly…

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A kidnapper speaks

I found this video by Fusion fascinating. The outstanding part for me is how the young thug views this like any other job: he simply wants respect, he wants to move up in the ranks, and he is highly committed to his trade. It’s just that his trade … involves inflicting unspeakable violence on people.…

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The sudden rise of the bodyguards

They say crisis is half opportunity. And, indeed, what you see as an unrelenting crime wave, looks like an opportunity to the bodyguard industry. This week, two dispatches cover the issue and offer an inside look in the world of bodyguards (known here as escoltas) and their personal experiences. First up, Associated Press’ Hannah Dreier meets Julio Delgado, who works…

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Red justice goes after one of its own

Anyone remember the case of “businessman”/druglord Walid Makled? This week, he was finally sentenced to 14 years and 6 months in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering, but he was also absolved of other charges. The General Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz isn’t happy with the decision, and announced that the Public Ministry will appeal it…

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Bombs away

The ink has not dried on the news that Sucre mayor Carlos Ocariz had been declared “the fourth-best mayor in the world” by the City Mayor Foundation, and we are finding out just what we (and Ocariz in particular) are up against. First off, in a clear act of arson, seven garbage collection trucks were set ablaze…