HomeNewsBriefTalk of ‘Peace Zones,’ Possibly More Gun Control in Venezuela
BRIEF

Talk of ‘Peace Zones,’ Possibly More Gun Control in Venezuela

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 27 JAN 2014 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has announced the creation of “peace zones” and his justice minister said the government should consider stricter gun control, a piecemeal approach in the face of rampant violence.

According to El Universal, Maduro said the zones will be enforced through participation from state institutions and citizens, and will be implemented in “public spaces,” highways, hospitals, schools and universities.

“We have to create a system of constant monitoring and care,” El Nacional reported Maduro as saying.

SEE ALSO: Venezuela News and Profiles

The statements were made during a “Day of Peace and Life” staged in Caracas on January 26, at which the Interior, Justice and Peace Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres called for more debate on gun regulation. The minister said that only security personnel should legally be allowed to carry weapons, and suggested at least 5,500 legally obtained guns are currently in the hands of criminals.

InSight Crime Analysis

Maduro’s announcement comes just weeks after a former champion beauty queen was robbed and murdered along with her British husband after their car broke down on a highway outside Caracas. While the case was quickly declared solved after seven were detained and charged in the homicides, it created a surge of public outrage over the insecurity, which has seen the country become one of the most violent in the world over the past decade. 

With regards to the proposal, Maduro has said the “peace zones” will include round the clock vigilance. But the question remains how this will be implemented and whether this is simply a political ploy to quiet the storm that continues to swirl after the beauty queen’s brutal murder.

The call from Rodriguez for further debate on gun control is much more interesting and has a far greater potential to impact Venezuela’s security situation. It comes just months before a ban on the commercial sale of firearms — unsuccessfully implemented to curb the country’s rising murder rate — is due to end and little over seven months after a disarmament bill was signed, following three years of revisions.

But with 2011 estimates placing the number of civilian firearms in circulation at between 1.6 and 4.1 million, how Maduro might reclaim those arms at a time when people feel increasingly insecure remains an unanswered question.

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

CONTRABAND / 24 JUL 2020

As Venezuelan citizens try to return home during the coronavirus pandemic, their own government has accused them of spreading the…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 24 JUN 2019

A new type of "pranato," or prison boss, is flourishing inside Venezuelan police stations, where riots, escapes, extortion rackets and…

COLOMBIA / 12 DEC 2011

The defeat of the FARC, and the capture or killing of its new commander-in-chief, alias "Timochenko," will be extremely difficult…

Institutional Content

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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. …