tear gas

Violence on campus, by @Naky

Chavistas love to repeat the tired old canard that the protest movements are “contained,” and “limited” to well-to do areas of Caracas. Just yesterday, the President was boasting in the New York Times that the protests “have received no support in poor and working-class neighborhoods.” What they deliberately fail to mention is the tiny fact that opposition protests in…

P10

When in Rome…

A few days ago, Maduro was having a down in the dumps day, he needed a quick pick me up, something empowering, something to assert his manhood. So, he did what any self respecting male  would do, he made a rape joke, gorillas included. Yes, a rape joke on Cadena Nacional. In our little machista…

maricori

Airport security, chavista style

Yesterday, Maria Corina Machado and at least one other legislator were attacked as they were about to board a flight at Ciudad Guayana airport. The video of the incident, commanded by fellow legislator and boxing champ Nancy Asencio, is shocking. Don’t miss the final seconds, when the crowd starts taking their rage out on the…

UCV

Escalation

El Nacional’s front page today paints a dramatic picture of yesterday’s events, when three people were shot dead in Valencia, countless were injured, and a battle took place in Caracas’ Central University campus. There are reports that even the UCV Botanical Gardens suffered. This doesn’t lend itself to much analysis. Venezuela is quickly becoming a…

sebin

Se llamaba SEBIN

Last friday, a SEBIN officer died in a showdown with Polichacao in the Prados del Este Highway. (SEBIN is the Venezuelan government intelligence service, while Polichacao is the municipal police force of opposition-controlled Chacao municipality) Polichacao claims it was responding to a kidnapping. SEBIN says Polichacao just opened fire without warning and that they were escorting…

mm

Some things remain the same

Even though crime has taken a backseat in people’s minds amid the current wave of protests, it doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. Quite the opposite. El Universal is reporting that, according to off-the-record sources from the criminal investigations police (CICPC), there were 2,841 murders in Venezuela during the first two months of 2014.…

An opposition demonstrators holds a Venezuelan flag in front of a burning barricade in Caracas

Taming the shadow

These tumultuous days, as I was glued to Twitter, reading Facebook comments, listening to opinions on the street, and watching the students debate on CNNE, I  finally “understood” Venezuela’s deep polarization. After 15 years of war speech, we have become two distinct countries, two societies that haven’t been able to reconcile in more than a…

82393colectivo-armado

Collective violence

As I left yesterday’s march, having reached our announced endpoint in front of the Fiscalía (the Prosecutor General’s headquarters), I made a point to note the total absence of law enforcement personnel in the area. There had not been a single policeman in sight for the entire route of the protest. I started my subway ride back home…

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…