HomeNewsBriefOrganized Crime Driving Record Homicides in Venezuela: Reports
BRIEF

Organized Crime Driving Record Homicides in Venezuela: Reports

HOMICIDES / 15 JAN 2016 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

Reports by two different NGOs indicate that criminal groups are the key factor in Venezuela’s ever worsening public security situation and one of the highest homicide counts in the world. 

Some 337 police, military and private security personnel were killed in 2015, only one less than the year before, Venezuelan NGO Fundepro revealed in its latest report. 

Security personnel killings saw a sharp rise in 2014 and appear to have remained unchanged, with an average of six murders per week in 2015. Security personnel murdered on the job were often ambushed by criminals seeking to steal their weapons, Fundepro spokesperson Donnagee Sandoval said. 

Meanwhile Venezuela’s total 2015 homicide rate reached a historic 90 per 100,000 inhabitants, local NGO the Venezuelan Violence Observatory (OVV by its Spanish initials) said it its latest report. 

Organized crime has played a key role as groups compete for territory and control over activities like drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion, the OVV said. 

For example in Venezuela’s western Lara state authorities have seen a nearly 20 percent rise in multiple homicides, many of which were linked to criminal disputes, El Impulso reported citing Venezuela’s investigative police, the CICPC. 

“Large organized crime groups are the key to understanding this change in multiple homicides,” OVV Director Roberto Briceño León, stated. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Venezuela’s nationwide increase in violence has occurred amid a general decline in living standards, food scarcities and economic upheaval. This trend has been exacerbated by a political war going on between the government and the opposition, which has pushed security policy far down the list of priorities and fed the growth informal and illegal economies, in which organized crime has flourished.

Unfortunately the Venezuelan government is only making the situation worse with its policy of not releasing key crime statistics such as the national murder rate. 

The resulting scenario is a perfect breeding ground for organized crime, encouraged by a plethora of opportunities, a general absence of government action and shielded by a lack of accurate information on how and where crime is developing. 

Venezuela’s government — particularly its newly-elected congress — should resume the state’s obligation of collecting and reporting crime statistics. Better data will allow policy makers to understand the true scale of the problem and point them towards solutions. Without this, Venezuela’s dire security situation is likely to remain the same or even worsen, pushing it past El Salvador as the Western Hemisphere’s most violent nation.  

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

HONDURAS / 22 AUG 2016

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that he is requesting congressional approval for a new military cooperation agreement with Israel,…

MEXICO / 27 NOV 2015

Mexico's Human Rights Commission has accused the military and federal police of excessive use of force during a massacre this…

BRAZIL / 9 NOV 2016

Prison murders have surged 60 percent in parts of northern Brazil, a potential sign of the serious repercussions of a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…