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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…

Colectivos

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…

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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,…