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The Taking of Cota Nine-Zero-Five

The Cota 905 area in western Caracas is a “peace zone” no more. Authorities launched a large-scale operation earlier today, including lots of National Police agents, National Guard soldiers and armored vehicles and SWAT teams from both the Criminal Investigations Police (CICPC) and the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN). The raid is part of the larger “People’s…

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The Pirates of Lake Maracaibo

Last Saturday, eight fishermen left their homes in San Francisco (South of Maracaibo) in the early hours to go to work. They didn’t return to their homes. Their families and friends became worried and the local police started a search. Three days later, authorities found them dehydrated on an oil rig in Lake Maracaibo, near the city of…

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You only police once (YOPO)

Venezuelan cops don’t have it easy these days: they are either killed in horryfing circunstances, attacked by irregular armed groups or find themselves facing the wrath of the people they’re supposed to protect. So, what advice can be offered to those in charge of keeping us safe, specially when criminal bands have more deadly firepower at…

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Violence is a canard

Now that Leopoldo López has called people out into the streets, some are saying that Venezuelans are “too afraid” to march. They are afraid “colectivos” might begin shooting and killing at will. Let’s think about this for a moment. Suppose that in the entire country 500,000 people take to the streets this Saturday. Suppose that, God…

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Heartbreak for a Real “Reyes Mago”

This is one of those stories that just hits you right there. Dr. Jesús Reyes was a revered pediatric oncologist at J.M. de los Rios Children’s Hospital, moving heaven and earth to treat his little patients in the face of mounting shortages of chemotherapy drugs. Dr. Reyes was the kind of Doctor who would take his young cancer patients on…

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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…