HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Minister Claims Homicides Are Dropping
BRIEF

Venezuela Minister Claims Homicides Are Dropping

HOMICIDES / 8 SEP 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

According to Venezuela's interior minister, homicides and kidnappings have decreased significantly in 2014. But his refusal to release concrete figures and the Venezuelan government's reputation for manipulating statistics cast doubt on his claims.

In an interview with El Universal, interior affairs and justice minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres stated that homicides have fallen by 18 percent and kidnappings by 60 percent in the first 34 weeks of the year compared to the same period in 2013. Rodriguez also said that 76 percent of the country's homicides could be attributed to conflicts between rival criminal groups or between criminal groups and security forces.

Rodriguez refused to give El Universal concrete numbers to back his claims, stating that political rivals or the media could misuse the figures in order to increase perceptions of Venezuela's insecurity.  

According to Rodriguez, the Venezuelan government has implemented a number of security initiatives – including a citizen security program, a disarmament program, and the installation of security cameras – with the goal of reducing the country's homicide rate to just 10 homicides per every 100,000 inhabitants in four years.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Venezuelan government is known for manipulating its statistical data. The government claimed that the country's 2013 homicide rate was 39 per 100,000 inhabitants, in contrast to estimates released by reputable non-governmental organization the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV), which maintain that the rate is around 79 per 100,000. 

Rodriguez's claims are made even more dubious by the fact that Venezuela has been experiencing a period of intense political turmoil since anti-government protests began in February. The unrest has led to a security crisis in the country, with government-backed militias, known as "colectivos," accused of killing protesters, and has created ideal conditions for criminal groups to expand their operations now that security forces are distracted elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the disarmament program cited by Rodriguez has failed to produce the desired results, with less than one percent of illegal weapons seized or voluntarily handed in a year after the new disarmament law went into effect. The failures of this law and the fact that the security camera program has only been implemented in two districts in capital city Caracas mean there are no major security developments that could explain an 18 percent reduction in homicides.

Without concrete numbers to back them up, Rodriguez's claims that 76 percent of homicides are related to clashes between criminal groups or with security forces are similarly unconvincing.

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.

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 OCT 2021

Business partners of Álex Saab have been indicted by US prosecutors on charges of being part of a multi-million dollar…

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 14 JAN 2021

The “Cartel of the Suns” (Cartel de los Soles) is the term used to describe the shadowy groups inside Venezuela’s…

CARIBBEAN / 29 JUN 2021

The owner of an armored transport company has been charged for his part in a transnational dirty gold network that…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…