HomeNewsBriefGovt Claims Crime Falling in Venezuela
BRIEF

Govt Claims Crime Falling in Venezuela

VENEZUELA / 22 AUG 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Crime in Venezuela has fallen by 7 percent since the start of the military-led "Plan Patria Segura," according to the government, although ongoing controversies over official statistics cast doubts on the claim.

Venezuela's Ministry for the Interior and Justice released figures showing that since the security plan began in May, there has been a 16.6 percent drop in murders, 20 percent less kidnappings, 16 percent less robberies, 14.3 percent less assaults, and 3.8 percent less rapes when compared to the same period the year before.

Vice Minister of Citizen Security Manuel Suarez Hidalgo attributed the drop to the new security plan, which has seen the deployment of the police and military to the streets, increased the control of community councils and seen government ministries work with social organizations, reported Ultimas Noticias.

InSight Crime Analysis

The issue of security has become highly politicized in Venezuela, with the opposition keen to exploit spiraling violence and rising crime to attack the government. The previous government of Hugo Chavez, for the most part, tried to divert attention away from the issue and rarely openly admitted the scale of the problem.

The new government of Nicolas Maduro has proven to be more willing to engage openly on security and related issues such as corruption, admitting it is one of the most serious issues facing the country -- although placing the blame for it elsewhere -- and making it a policy focus.

However, it is difficult to judge the effectiveness of the new security policies, as the Maduro administration does not appear to be any more committed to transparency than its predecessor when it comes to statistics. In 2005, the government stopped releasing weekly crime figures, and since then reliable data has been hard to come by. Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez recently admitted the new government continued to conceal crime statistics and said he had proposed changing this policy -- but only because there was good news to report, as with the newly released statistics.

Government claims of success are also undermined by a lack of trust in official figures. The controversy over the large discrepancies between official murder statistics and independently collated figures that began under Hugo Chavez has continued under Maduro. Venezuela analyst David Smilde told InSight Crime, "Any given year if you add up the percent reduction in crime that the government claims, you would end up with zero crime at the end of the year."

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.

Tags

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

BRAZIL / 4 JUN 2012

A recent joint air force exercise is supposed to herald a new era of border security cooperation between Brazil and…

COLOMBIA / 27 AUG 2019

The leader of a notorious Venezuelan gang is reportedly operating from Colombia, highlighting how criminal networks from the crisis-stricken state…

ELN / 8 AUG 2012

Colombian intelligence indicates that a top leader of the ELN guerrilla group is operating out of a Venezuelan border state,…

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…