HomeNewsBriefCaracas Counts Over 3,000 Homicides So Far in 2012
BRIEF

Caracas Counts Over 3,000 Homicides So Far in 2012

HOMICIDES / 12 NOV 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Venezuela's capital registered 3,218 homicides during the first 10 months of 2012, putting it on pace to surpass last year's total and indicating that clashes between street gangs remain one of the primary drivers of violence in the city.

The statistics are taken from the Venezuelan national police agency the CICPC, reported El Universal

According to the CICPC's numbers, 70 percent of the homicides in Caracas and the surrounding metropolitan area were related to armed assaults. The definition appears to encompass armed robbery, as well as confrontations between street gangs. There are thought to be hundreds of gangs in Caracas, usually no more than seven to 10 people defending small chunks of territory. 

Caracas' municipality of Libertador -- where the presidential palace and many other government buildings are based, alongside poorer neighborhoods like the 23 de Enero -- remains the most violent, with 2,580 murders registered so far this year, or about 258 murders a month. In comparison, the other four municipalities in the Caracas metropolitan district registered 638 homicide victims between January and October 2012.

Last year Caracas registered 3,488 homicides in total, according to the CICPC.

In the past, the police agency's numbers have been slightly smaller than those kept by NGO the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, which reported 19,336 homicide victims in Venezuela last year, compared to the CICPC's count of 18,850. The NGO called 2011 Venezuela's most violent year ever. 

InSight Crime Analysis 

The homicide tally is an indication that consolidating security in Caracas will remain a challenge for President Hugo Chavez as he begins his fourth term. The CICPC data suggests that 2012 could turn out to be even more violent than 2011, if murders continue at the same pace.

The government has taken a few steps to try and stem violence in the capital, including overhauling the city police and encouraging disarmament schemes. But a weak judiciary means few are punished for committing crimes, leaving Caracas' street gangs essentially with free reign to deal drugs and kill one another over petty rivalries, with little intervention from the authorities.

Even with increased evidence that organized crime is deepening its hold inside the country, it appears that urban street gangs will remain the primary drivers of violence in the capital. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EL SALVADOR / 5 JUL 2016

El Salvador's attorney general has opened an investigation to determine whether José Luis Merino, one of the three chief leaders…

COLOMBIA / 16 JUN 2016

Venezuela's decision to close its border with Colombia in 2015 has been hugely profitable for criminal groups, who now have…

COLOMBIA / 5 NOV 2018

A recent attack by Colombian criminal group, Los Rastrojos, on a military base in Venezuela confirms that the group is…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.