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El Picure strikes again

Earlier this week there was a shootout between two rival criminal bands in a farm located near Altagracia de Orituco (in central Guárico State), leaving eleven people dead. The two gangs, named El Picure and El Juvenal, were fighting over territorial control. When I read this news, I got the sense of déjà vu. Surprise,…

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How is the disarmament plan doing so far?

It has been almost a month since the voluntary disarmament plan I wrote about last week was first announced by Nicolas Maduro, and finally we have an official number from Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres. 800 guns collected. That’s it. To say unimpressive would be an understatement. But the government isn’t worried and will do a special…

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The disarmament that wasn’t there

The central government has tried over and over again to present itself as proactive in tackling crime. As usual, reality has gotten in its way. Violence in Venezuela is once again in the international media because of both the grizzly murder of Chavista MP Robert Serra and his assistant earlier this month, followed just days later…

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Apátrida Chronicles

In my latest piece for Transitions, I make the case for foreign intervention in Venezuela’s domestic affairs – namely, that the crime wave has gotten so out of hand, and the government has shown itself so clueless, neighboring countries need to intervene. The headliner: “In 2009, the U.N. Secretary General provided a blueprint for applying this…