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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,…

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Deadly Peace in the Tuy Valley (Updated)

Another weekend, another massacre in Venezuela: ten people were killed and three wounded during a late birthday party in Lomas de Guadalupe, a recently opened housing complex located near the town of Ocumare del Tuy (Miranda State). Sadly, the details of the incident sound all too familiar. An armed group came into the building and shot…

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Preach, father

Over the last few years, Father Alejandro Moreno has established himself as an authority on the topic of Venezuela’s crime epidemic. For years, he has toiled in Venezuela’s toughest neighborhoods. This has given him an insider’s look at what makes these criminals tick. This interview of the father by the Venezuelan news outlet Contrapunto is astonishing.…

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A matter of cops and death

How bad does the security situation have to be in a country for the cops themselves to go out to protest… because they don’t feel safe on the job? Bad. Really bad. In Miranda State and Caracas alone, 45 police officers have been killed in 2015 so far. Nationwide, according to NGO Due Process Foundation (FUNDEPRO), at least 105…

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Mining for news

Don’t miss Efecto Cocuyo’s take on illegal mining in Venezuela’s South. Thanks to intrepid reporters working for Discovery Max, we can witness the devastation that illegal mining is causing in the region. And when we say “illegal,” we don’t mean “undocumented immigrants” or “garimpeiros.” We mean hard-core, armed criminal gangs working in cahoots with the Venezuelan military in…

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#VenezuelaEsEsperanza #VenezuelaEsPlomo

A few days ago, Bloomberg’s Anatoly Kurmanaev published a story on the black market for bullets. After reading it, one comes away with the clear impression that the military’s negligence is a big part of the story behind Venezuela’s soaring crime rates. But the saddest part is that these revelations barely caused a blip in our…

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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.…