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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:08 AM

Will Venezuela's violence undo Chávez, or save him?

http://www.opeal.net/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=11488:will-venezuelas-violence-undo-ch%C3%A1vez-or-save-him?&tmpl=component&print=1

Sounds alot like Ven has some serious issues with paramilitary death squads "colectivos"


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Days after the official launch of the government’s new security plan, which promises security to all Venezuelans, Caracas saw its most violent weekend of the year, with 64 murders. The capital has become the most dangerous city in South America, with homicides shooting up to 108 per 100,000 last year, while the country as a whole saw its most violent year ever.

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Valor is just one of the thousands murdered in Caracas each year, nearly three-quarters of them men aged 15-44, and the vast majority killed with firearms. A large proportion of the violence is a product of poverty and lawlessness, with robbery cited as the reason for a quarter of killings in the capital last year, while some is attributed to politicized armed groups, and to the proliferation of firearms in the country. The numbers have only increased this year – the number of violent deaths in the capital was up more than 11 percent in the first five months of 2012 compared to the same period the previous year to some 2,178, 80 percent of which are estimated to be murders.

All this killing is becoming a key issue for October’s presidential election, closely fought between President Hugo Chávez, who has been in power nearly 14 years, and Henrique Capriles, candidate of the opposition coalition MUD. Both have scrambled to promise security to voters. Just days before the bloody weekend which saw Valor and 63 others murdered, Chávez launched his new security plan. He acknowledged that the problem of violence was serious, and set out a broad scheme including weapons controls, police reform, and social programs to give more opportunities to young people. Meanwhile Capriles has framed the campaign as a choice between "life," offered by the opposition, and the "death" represented by Chávez's failing security policies, as the Associated Press noted in a recent report.

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The danger of a violent political crisis is exacerbated by the already high level of violence in the country. Crisis Group points to two of the main factors behind the high murder rate – the widespread availability of guns, and existence of pro-goverment armed groups – as worsening the risk of instability. These armed groups take two forms, according to the report; organizations known as "colectivos," mostly based in Caracas, and the militias, set up by Chávez in 2005, and consisting of tens of thousands of citizens who are supposed to be the fifth component of the armed forces. The colectivos were highlighted as a main driver of violence by the Metropolitan Observatory on Citizen Security (OMSC) earlier this year, which said that these groups control some areas of the capital as "micro-states," refusing to let police enter. Crisis Group warns that, should the election go against them, these colectivos could foment violence either independently or on behalf of the government.




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Reply Will Venezuela's violence undo Chávez, or save him? (Original post)
Bacchus4.0 Aug 2012 OP
COLGATE4 Aug 2012 #1
Bacchus4.0 Aug 2012 #2
joshcryer Aug 2012 #5
COLGATE4 Aug 2012 #6
Bacchus4.0 Aug 2012 #3
joshcryer Aug 2012 #4

Response to Bacchus4.0 (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:37 AM

1. Chavez' Venezuela is beginning to reap the

harvest of his creating armed groups intended to give him support. He believes he can still control them, and perhaps he can, for a time. But sooner or later he will have to deal with this new branch of government he has fomented, created and armed. Not a pretty picture for Venezuela's future.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:47 AM

2. nothing is being done to control the violence of these pro-government death squads

the police do not go there.

although I did hear that the government is puting signs in buses to try and combat the violence. that should be effective.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:23 PM

5. There are plenty of anti-violence campaigns. But when your death squads are sponsered...

...by the government, there's not much that anti-violence campaigns can do.

It's becoming clear at least to me that the murders are systematic and therefore state sponsored.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:37 PM

6. They've created the problem - now they get to

try and ride the tiger they've created. Good luck with all the armed 'communies' heeling to law and order. Look at Brazil's favelas, and they're nowhere near as heavily armed as those neighborhoods in Caracas.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:46 PM

3. Venezuela: violence and politics

http://www.opendemocracy.net/silke-pfeiffer/venezuela-violence-and-politics


more on pro-Chavez paramilitaries acting with impunity in Venezuela:


While Latin Americans are shocked about massacres in Mexico and used to violent news from Colombia, the fact that Venezuela has reached almost double Colombia’s homicide rate and over three times Mexico’s has practically escaped the world’s attention. So have the risks that - in the deeply polarised and militarised society that increasingly lacks institutional conflict-resolution mechanisms - criminal violence could turn into political violence.

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Impunity is one, if not the principal cause for the escalation of criminal violence. In 2009, according to NGO numbers, 91% of murder investigations did not lead to the arrest of a suspect. A police chief reports that in some communities, neighbours protest when criminals are arrested because they expect they will be easily released, and then return to their barrios, where they will punish those who did not defend them.

If anything, the police are part of the problem. Cases of extrajudicial executions by the police are allegedly in the thousands, most of them left untouched by a justice system which has lost its independence, is overloaded, ill prepared, politicised and corrupt.

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The proof of this goes beyond the violent discourse of the head of state himself. The fact that the government is arming civilian militias "in defense of the revolution" undermines the credibility of any arms-control initiatives. The government has also displayed a dangerous ambiguity towards armed groups that profess loyalty to the Bolivarian revolution, even when they use violence and undertake criminal activity, as in the case of the colectivos of the 23 de Enero slum district. No serious attempt has been made to disarm or to dismantle the colectivos or to prevent the Bolivarian Liberation Forces, a pro-Chávez paramilitary organisation from establishing control over a vital sector of the border with Colombia.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:22 PM

4. These colectivos are bad news. And it's the real reason they won't let Capriles...

...into those areas.

They do not want video of Chavistas running around with guns shooting at Capriles supporters.

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