HomeNewsBriefPolitical Upheaval Distracts From Unabated Violence in Venezuela
BRIEF

Political Upheaval Distracts From Unabated Violence in Venezuela

VENEZUELA / 8 JUN 2015 BY VENEZUELA INVESTIGATIVE UNIT EN

Sky high violence and clashes between criminals and security forces show the scale of the security crisis facing Venezuela, a crisis that looks set to deepen as President Nicolas Maduro focuses on quelling political dissent at the expense of combating crime. 

Seventy cadavers were brought to the Bello Monte morgue in Caracas during the first seven days of June, reported El Nacional. The weekend of June 5-7 was particularly deadly, when 27 bodies were brought to the morgue, according to El Nacional. 

The violence has affected some of the most vulnerable sectors of the Venezuelan population. No less than 70 women and 115 minors have reportedly been killed so far this year in the Caracas metropolitan area.

Police have also come under heavy fire; 59 officers in Caracas have been assassinated thus far in 2015, reported El Nacional. On June 6, four individuals were reportedly injured after a grenade exploded just meters from a police station in the western state of Tachira. For the second time in as many months, officials from various police units called on the government to provide greater protection against police attacks during a protest this weekend. 

InSight Crime Analysis

As violence and crime continue to ravage Venezuela, it appears President Maduro is more concentrated on the political turmoil swirling around the country than its precarious security situation. Maduro has already demonstrated a willingness to prioritize politically driven security policies over attempts to lower homicides in Venezuela, already considered one of Latin America's most dangerous nations. 

Maduro has been fighting several political fires in recent months. In May, the Wall Street Journal reported US prosecutors are investigating several high-level Venezuelan officials -- including one of the country's most-powerful political leaders, Diosdado Cabello -- for their suspected involvement drug trafficking. Maduro also recently cancelled a trip to the Vatican to visit Pope Francis after the Catholic Church and rights groups reportedly pushed for the Pope to address human rights abuses in Venezuela. The government also denied requests from former presidents Andres Pastrana of Colombia and Sebastian Pinera of Chile for an audience with jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.

SEE ALSO: Venezuela News and Profiles

Organized crime has already proven adept at using political and economic turmoil and corruption in Venezuela to its advantage through everything from exploiting economic policies by contraband smuggling to taking advantage of institutional weaknesses to turn the country into a drug transit hub. It is likely such forces will again be seeking to take advantage of Maduro's preoccupation with his political position. 

Meanwhile, the recent police protests over the high number of officer deaths are indication of the inadequate state resources the Maduro administration is devoting to improving citizen security. The combination of high risk and low pay has led to the resignation of 30 percent of the police force in Sucre, a municipality in the Caracas metropolitan area, since 2012. 

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

ILLEGAL MINING / 7 MAR 2016

Venezuelan officials are investigating the alleged disappearance of 28 miners, after reports emerged they were massacred during a confrontation over…

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 18 JAN 2020

Venezuela remained mired in crisis throughout 2019, yet Nicolás Maduro actually consolidated his regime. How did he do it?…

VENEZUELA / 17 AUG 2011

Non-profit organization International Crisis Group predicts a surge of violence after Venezuela’s 2012 presidential elections, whether or not President Hugo…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…