HomeNewsBriefVenezuelan Police Kill Diplomat’s Daughter
BRIEF

Venezuelan Police Kill Diplomat’s Daughter

VENEZUELA / 19 MAR 2012 BY JEREMY MCDERMOTT EN

The killing of a Chilean diplomat’s daughter by Venezuelan police has provoked outrage and further highlighted problems with the security forces, even as crime rates skyrocket.

Karen Berendique was with her older brother and a friend when the vehicle ran through an unmarked police checkpoint in the city of Maracaibo. The police officers opened fire, killing the 19-year-old, daughter of the Chilean consul in the city. She was hit by three bullets. Twelve policemen have been detained and are under investigation in connection with incident.

Driver Fernando Berendique did not stop the car because he thought it was a robbery attempt. The police apparently had not laid out cones on the road to warn drivers, nor were there lights flashing on their vehicles.

In November, the Chilean consul in Caracas, Juan Carlos Fernandez, was shot in the leg after his car was hijacked. In January, Mexico’s ambassador in Caracas was kidnapped, offering more examples of the endemic insecurity in Venezuela.

InSight Crime Analysis

There is a great deal of mistrust of Venezuelan police, both of local forces and of the national police, set up by President Hugo Chavez in 2009 to fight spiraling crime. According to the count of some NGOs, 2011 was the country’s most violent year in recent history.

During a visit to Caracas last year, InSight Crime interviewed a former police official who stated that anything up to 70 percent of kidnappings in the Venezuelan capital had police involvement. He said that many people do not bother to report crimes to the police, fearing that in doing so they would actually be calling those who perpetrate many of those crimes.

Caracas is now the most dangerous city in South America. Murders, robberies and kidnappings have all increased exponentially since Chavez took power in 1998. This high-profile killing of a diplomat’s daughter may act as a lightning rod for complaints about the police and the deterioration in security, which is already one of the principal issues in the upcoming presidential elections. While Chavez is running again, his recent return from Cuba after yet more cancer treatment has created huge political uncertainty, just six months before the vote.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Tags

Related Content

FARC / 2 JUN 2011

Venezuela has started the process of sending a captured leading member of rebel group the FARC back to Colombia, from…

COLOMBIA / 16 OCT 2018

Reports that criminal groups in Colombia are increasingly recruiting migrants from Venezuela shows how these armed actors are taking advantage of those…

ELITES AND CRIME / 19 DEC 2017

The sentence handed down in a US court to nephews of Venezuela’s first lady is anything but lenient, and it…

About InSight Crime

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. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…