Darkknight

Would you be willing to play Batman?

Imagine yourself living in Gotham City. Crime rates keep going up. City Hall is unable to guarantee the minimum amount of security to its citizens. Cops are just incapable of battling criminals…but then one day an opulent member of Gotham’s society decides to have a purpose in life, giving birth to (You know him!) Batman.…

movimiento-paz-y-vida

Peace sells… but who’s buying?

The word “peace” is in the air… more or less. Last weekend, the government did a series of events under the theme “Peace and Life”. It was pretty underwhelming… It was just a sneak preview of the upcoming State strategy to deal with crime: the “Pacification” Plan. The plan was briefly introduced last November by…

Gimme yer guns or else...plo plo!

Or else!

Carabobo governor Francisco Ameliach is serious about crime. How serious? So serious, the guy is giving the state’s criminal gangs a deadline: give up all your weapons within 20 days, or else. Ermmmm…isn’t that the security policy version of giving someone three minutes to run around the supermarket grabbing all they can for free?! Except, you know,…

World Justice

The causes of crime in one graph

Take it away, World Justice Project.Should it surprise you that a country with no justice system, tons of weapons, and lots of drug smuggling … is a killing field? What I love about the report is that it compares us not only with Latin America, but with countries around the world that have similar income…

The face of incompetence

Deer in the headlights

Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres cuts a sad figure. A former military man with little knowledge of the civilian world, he is the public face of the government’s crime-fighting “efforts” during an unprecedented crime wave. To him, everything is peachy. He tries to put on a brave face, though. Here he is asking people for…

Vzla Tourism

Doing $$omething about crime

Crime is the number one issue people care about. The opposition wants to work on the problem. The government seemingly wants to work on the problem (well, judging by their words at least, we all know they don’t care). And the public certainly wants something done. The problem for Maduro is that any solution ……

A nice moment from Belén Marrero (UPDATED)

This video of actress Belén Marrero talking about her friend Mónica Spear is not my cup of tea, but something tells me that, in our telenovela-obsessed country, it hits a nerve. It’s a good moment for her, putting into words the absolute despair of many Venezuelans. I also like the link that she makes between…

Latin integration indeed

Maracaibo chronicles

An excellent story on smuggling in Zulia state, by Bloomberg’s Anatoly Kurmanaev and Andrew Willis, on Venezuela’s unlikely and unsustainable path to becoming … a rice exporter! The money quote: “Sotomayor hasn’t seen rice for sale in the shops of Venezuela’s second-largest city since July, as smugglers snap up the staple for a maximum of…

Crime – and nothing else

Mónica Spear and her husband were not the only ones who died yesterday. There was also Guido Méndez, a university professor, and his mother Glory, both killed inside their Catia apartment. There was Kelvin Tortoza and his friend Alejandro Torres, both in their twenties, shot to death while they were talking on the street in…

Gone too soon

Spear to the heart

As the father of a five-year old girl, it’s impossible for me not to be deeply shaken by the horrible fate of former Miss Venezuela Mónica Spear and her husband. Read the grim details here, I simply have no words to write about the events. All I can say is that there is no solution…

Just another statistic

Killing them loudly

As the year comes to a close, it’s time for countries to take stock of official and not-so-official numbers. One figure that has raised a lot of eyebrows is Venezuela’s murder rate. According to NGO Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia, more than 24 thousand Venezuelans were murdered in 2013. This comes out to 79 people per…

Gunfight at El Sombrero

Last weekend, the small town of El Sombrero (in the heartland’s Guárico State) was the location of a major shootout between the authorities and a large criminal gang known as “El Picure,” named after the alias of its leader, and seen in the recent photo above. Seven members of the gang were killed during the…