A horrifying picture of Venezuela as Latin America’s most violent country

August 13, 2006

is an interview in today’s El Nacional
with Chacao Mayor Leopoldo Lopez in
which he gives terrifying numbers on crime and violence in Venezuela. The
article is on the occasion of Lopez’ presentation of a plan he has been trying
to sell the Government to reduce crime in 180 days.

Among the
things Lopez says about the current conditions of crime and violence in Venezuela:

–For each
cop killed in Brazil, ten
criminals die, in Venezuela
the ratio is forty criminals per cop.

for “resisting the authorities” have increased 254% since 1999 in the country
and 759% in the Federal District.

investment is 80 times police investment. One Sukhoi airplane like those
purchased recently by the Government cost US$ 120 million, with that you could
properly equip all police forces in the country.

rates are measured by the number of corpses that go through the morgue, but
there is an additional category in public hospitals called “undetermined
violent deaths. In 2004, there were 9962 homicides reported by the morgues,
2150 for “resisting the authorities” and 4298 “undetermined violent deaths”. This
gives you 74 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, higher than Colombia’s 54,
but that country is in the midst of a civil war.

–90,027 people
have died violently since 1999 in Venezuela. This is more than the
number that have died in Afghanistan,
Chechnya and Iraq.

–Only 7%
of homicides reach the point of someone receiving a sentence for it

executions only 1.4% of the cases ends in a sentence

–The rate
of homicides in jails is 20.6 per 1,000 inmates. In Brazil,
Argentina, Mexico and Colombia combined; the rate is 0.6
per 1,000.

–There is
an estimated 6 million weapons in Venezuela floating around, of which
only 15,000 are registered.

–In the
judiciary system, there are, according to a document by the Supreme Court, 100
civil servants with a criminal record and 40 judges with a criminal record.

and terrorizing statistics of the reality of this poor nation. Is it time for
divisiveness or ideology, or is it time for doing something together?

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