HomeNewsBriefWhat Does Maduro's Victory Mean For Security in Venezuela?
BRIEF

What Does Maduro's Victory Mean For Security in Venezuela?

VENEZUELA / 15 APR 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

Nicolas Maduro's smaller-than-expected margin of victory in Venezuela's presidential elections raises the question of how effectively he will be able to tackle the country's dire crime and security situation.

According to the count published by Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE), Maduro won 50.66 percent of the vote, to opponent Henrique's Capriles' 49.07 percent. Capriles has demanded a recount.

Maduro's lack of public support, compared to the massive popularity of predecessor Hugo Chavez, could present problems as he attempts to enact security policies, suggested some analysts, with crime and security one of the most pressing issues facing the country.

InSight Crime Analysis

Violent crime rates soared under Chavez, making Venezuela one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and citizen security featured heavily as an issue in the last two presidential campaigns.

Maduro announced early on in his campaign that tackling crime would be a personal priority, marking a contrast from Chavez, who did not make security a major focus. Maduro has largely followed his predecessor's rhetoric on the issue, blaming capitalism and the opposition media for driving up crime. However, crime and violence are fueled in Venezuela by high levels of corruption within the security forces -- worsened by the growth of the international drugs trade -- the abundance of firearms, the lack of a coherent, sustained security policy, and the weak judicial system. Maduro will need to tackle these issues, as well as inequality, in order to make progress on security.

In his time as acting president, Maduro has overseen the introduction of a new voluntary disarmament plan, and has also announced the Movement for Life and Peace, a plan to set up artistic, sporting, and educational groups in the country's 79 most crime-heavy municipalities with the aim of using culture to spark a "rebirth of humanity." This follows on from the policies of Chavez, who oversaw at least 19 different security plans while crime levels continued to rise.

Maduro has also stated that the police force must be "an instrument for the construction of socialism," suggesting that the politicization of the security forces will continue under the new president.

In the run-up to the elections various commentators suggested that unlike Chavez, whose charisma and overwhelming popular support allowed him to deflect blame for spiralling insecurity, the electorate may be harder on Maduro if he fails to quickly improve security. His surprisingly narrow victory indicates that the new president is indeed in a vulnerable position, and that the issue of citizen security could prove crucial in determining the success or failure of his presidency.

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

PRISONS / 23 AUG 2016

A newspaper investigation exposed how a prison in Venezuela has become a thriving marketplace for the basic goods in short…

VENEZUELA / 16 OCT 2013

The authenticity of a photograph purporting to show one of two "nacro-planes" apparently shot down by a special armed forces…

CARIBBEAN / 11 FEB 2022

Latin American countries scored poorly on Transparency International’s latest corruption index, with the worst joining the ranks of war-torn nations…

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…