HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Plans to Use Drones for Citizen Security
BRIEF

Venezuela Plans to Use Drones for Citizen Security

SECURITY POLICY / 22 OCT 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

In an effort to improve citizen security, Venezuela plans to install radars that detect gunshots and drones equipped with video cameras, but the use of surveillance technology offers the potential for abuse. 

Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said that the cameras and radars would be integrated with the emergency services to allow police to respond more quickly, reported EFE. Regular video cameras would be used in highly populated areas, and drones would allow security forces to monitor areas that are difficult to access, reported NTN24. According to Rodriguez, the authorities will install 50,000 cameras by April 2015.

Rodriguez said that a smartphone app that allows users to contact the nearest police unit -- which Venezuela launched in September -- has already helped reduce crime.

Rodriguez also stated that the Venezuelan government had acquired equipment to block phone calls in prisons in an effort to curb extortion, which is often perpetrated by prisoners. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Venezuela's surveillance technology could be misused to serve the interests of the ruling party, including by monitoring the activities of opponents. Elsewhere in the region, there have been examples of both left-wing and right-wing governments spying on political opponents via phone tapping and other means.

Indeed, Venezuelan authorities used edited surveillance footage to support their claims that the death of a young politician from the ruling party was a political killing carried out by the right wing, discarding evidence that indicated that the crime may in fact have been robbery-related. 

SEE ALSO: Venezuela News and Profiles

However, video cameras and radars could work to deter individuals from committing crimes and provide the police with more information for investigations. Venezuela has one of the highest homicide rates in the world -- 73 per 100,000 in 2013 according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, although the government claims the figure was 39 per 100,000 -- driven by high levels of impunity for perpetrators.

Drones are increasingly popular surveillance tools in Latin America, but the region has yet to create a legal framework guiding their use. Fourteen countries currently possess drones, which have been used for everything from monitoring agricultural activities to military intelligence operations. 

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

COCAINE / 17 NOV 2020

Authorities in Belgium have arrested a former top counter-narcotics official who they say is being investigated for suspected involvement with…

PRISONS / 20 SEP 2013

A prominent NGO in Venezuela has strongly criticized the prison ministry's failure to address chaos in the penitentiary system after…

GULF CARTEL / 27 JAN 2015

A report from a prominent think tank tackles the new security strategy in Tamaulipas, one of Mexico's perennially…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

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.