HomeNewsBriefCaracas Police Murdered for Guns: Report
BRIEF

Caracas Police Murdered for Guns: Report

HOMICIDES / 16 MAR 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Some 26 Caracas police officers have been murdered so far this year, and analysts warn that they may be being targeted by criminals who want to steal their weapons.

The assassination of Reinaldo Jose Mata Malave outside his home earlier this week brought the number of police officers murdered in greater Caracas in 2012 to 26. According to El Nacional, Mata was killed for his police-issued weapon, a Beretta pistol.

Criminologist Javier Gorriño told El Universal that this type of crime is becoming increasingly common because criminals no longer fear the police, stating, "The police have become a target for their guns."

Gorriño added that another factor driving the increased rate of police homicides -- of which there were 83 in greater Caracas last year -- is that criminals seek to elevate their status by taking out officers.

InSight Crime Analysis

The tally of 26 Caracas police officers killed in the first two-and-a-half months of 2012 puts the figure on pace to surpass last year's total by around 50 percent.

Some NGOs have reported that 2011 was Venezuela's most violent year ever, with Caracas' murder rate of 108 per 100,000 inhabitants making it the most dangerous city in South America. Much of this violence can be attributed to the wide availability of guns -- 90 percent of murders in the capital last year were committed with a firearm.

The government of Hugo Chavez has made efforts to curb the prevalence of guns. It created a commission in June 2011 with the aim of tightening gun regulation in the country, imposing a 180-day freeze on their sale and import. More than 117,000 firearms were destroyed by the authorities in the first 11 months of 2011, nearly doubling the previous year's total of 65,000.

This crackdown may have hit supply, helping explain why police officers are being targeted for their guns.

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

EXTRADITION / 18 APR 2012

A Venezuelan former Supreme Court judge is now in Washington cooperating with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and may be…

HOMICIDES / 13 NOV 2013

A new United Nations report has found Latin America is the only region in the world where overall homicide rates…

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 FEB 2017

Reports have emerged that a Venezuelan businessman and alleged drug kingpin with ties to the sitting vice president imported state-controlled…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…