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.

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

DRUG POLICY / 6 AUG 2018

After a spate of homicides in Uruguay, there is growing concern that violence is connected to organized crime groups, an assessment…

EL SALVADOR / 9 AUG 2016

Officials in El Salvador announced a new phase of "extraordinary" anti-gang measures instituted earlier this year, despite questions about the…

COLOMBIA / 13 MAR 2018

US President Donald Trump has announced that current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director…

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. …