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.

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

BOLIVIA / 8 NOV 2022

The Amazon is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, where wildlife trafficking threatens hundreds of thousands of species.

COLECTIVOS / 25 NOV 2021

Under the view of international observers, elections in Venezuela this weekend showed low levels of interference by armed groups or…

COLOMBIA / 5 OCT 2021

Colombia’s top military commander says 40 percent of ELN and ex-FARC fighters operate in Venezuela, a figure that must be…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…