HomeNewsBriefAmid Endemic Crime, Venezuela Sends Troops to Supermarkets
BRIEF

Amid Endemic Crime, Venezuela Sends Troops to Supermarkets

SECURITY POLICY / 11 JAN 2015 BY VENEZUELA INVESTIGATIVE UNIT EN

President Nicolas Maduro has ordered Venezuela's security forces to maintain order in supermarkets and food distribution sites, highlighting how the country has prioritized political-driven security issues over efforts to lower one of the world's highest homicide rates.

On January 8, President Maduro announced soldiers and police officers would begin to guard the country's supermarkets, which have seen extremely long lines due to food shortages, reported AFP. Venezuela has experienced a scarcity in numerous basic products over the past year, including milk, flour, and toilet paper. 

Meanwhile, the arrest of 12 students by police during a protest in the western border city of San Cristobal on January 7 was another example of the employment of security forces. The government remains intolerant of social unrest and the activities of the opposition. Venezuela has previously drawn international criticism for their heavy-handed response to anti-government marches in early 2014.

InSight Crime Analysis

The deployment of Venezuelan security forces to supermarkets and the crackdown on social protests suggest Maduro is more interested in keeping a lid on unrest rather than implementing meaningful security reform and tackling rampant crime. The questionable use of security forces has dogged this administration, and the misguided allocation of state resources to combat crime is likely a contributing factor to Venezuela's status as one of the most violent nations in Latin America.

Despite Venezuela's critical security situation, the government continues to focus on manipulating or hiding politically damaging crime statistics rather confronting the issues, forcing citizens to take security into their own hands. The recent killing of 7 people by alleged gang members at a funeral in the northern state of Aragua indicates gang violence has spread beyond the capital city of Caracas, forecasting an even bleaker security outlook for Venezuela this year.

SEE ALSO: Venezuela News and Profiles

On the other hand, the use of soldiers and police to guard Venezuelan supermarkets could be a tacit admission by the Maduro administration that the economy is crumbling due to falling oil prices, so that even the most basic goods can be worth fighting over. Venezuela's dire economic straits are a key reason the country is considered by InSight Crime to be highly susceptible to organized crime's influence and facing a deteriorating security situation in 2015.

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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 21 FEB 2018

A criminal group has been reported smuggling weapons of war out of Venezuela to expand their illegal activities, taking advantage…

CARIBBEAN / 29 MAR 2019

While Colombia bears the brunt of the Venezuelan exodus in terms of sheer numbers, several islands of the Caribbean, like…

BRAZIL / 24 MAR 2020

Fears of contagion amid the coronavirus pandemic have spurred deadly riots, mass breakouts, and crackdowns in several Latin American prisons,…

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…