PDVSA - 3

Oil and bullets

Two interesting stories, from the indispensable foreign press. First, Bloomberg’s Anatoly Kurmanaev explores the lack of progress in reining in guns and munition, and how it shows the powerful sway of the military. He reminds us that, in theory, the military should have begun coding individual bullets as a way of tightening control over munition.…

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What’s in Roy’s head? (Updated: Chaderton sort of apologizes)

Roy Chaderton, Venezuela’s Ambassador to the OAS, has always been a curious little beast. A product of Venezuela’s ancien regime, he is one of the few highly-educated diplomats that remained in good standing with Chávez after the Revolution came to power. After the tides turned, many people in top positions turned in their resignations in disgust – Ambassador…

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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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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…