A Horrifying Scene From The Caracas I Don’t Miss

February 5, 2012


The horrifying scene above is no different from what a person very close to me went through in October 2010. Innocently go into a Farmatodo(A CVS, Walgreen look alike)o this one in Los Palos Grandes  you are intercepted in the parking  lot and a shootout ensues. The difference in this case is that the guy was shot dead by the hoodlums, which included a woman.

My good friend survived…

59 Responses to “A Horrifying Scene From The Caracas I Don’t Miss”

  1. Jeffry House Says:

    I am a Canadian criminal lawyer. The homicide rate here is 1/3 of the US per capita, so 1/180 of the Venezuelan rate.

    What strikes me, watching this, as i have many dozens of video surveillance tapes of crime scenes, is that the camera is set up so that it fails to record the licences of the vehicles.

    Vehicles should be required to park facing or backed into the camera view. Of course this is not fool proof, but it regularly yields suspects, while pointing the camera at the side of the vehicle gets you nothing.

    • Carolina Says:

      This doesn’t look like a surveillance camera. It makes me wonder who was waiting for it to happen.

    • armandoefe Says:

      Having the vehicle’s license is useless as thugs steal the car first, use it to kidnap and then leave the car miles away…

    • Ira Says:

      One more comment:

      I don’t know if you’ve ever been to VZ–or anywhere else in South America–but expecting vehicles to park in a certain way is Fantasyland.

      • Ira Says:


        Lebanon has a much lower rate than Canada. And I doubt this has anything to do with how they park their cars.

        But what does enforcement have to do with the homicide rate anyway? You seem to be making a point that because Canada has a lower homicide rate than the U.S., that this has something to do with something you guys are doing.

        My guess is that it’s too freaking cold up there to commit much crime anyway.


      • Jeffry House Says:

        Yet in the video, all the cars are correctly parked in laid-out parking spots with cement curbs at the front of the space, and lines between spaces. So, had the camera been correctly positioned, it would have picked up the licences.

        And no, licences are not “useless”, which is why governments require them. They do not solve all crimes, but they help in many.

        I do agree with Carolina that the camera seems to move, which may mean it is being held by a human being. Pretty amazing though, since no fear of flying bullets is exhibited. Most humans would be jumping up and down if they see a murder right before their eyes.

        • Ira Says:

          But it’s also rock steady most of the time, like it’s mounted and someone bumped into it. It would be real hard to hold a phone that well.

          Anyway, I don’t know how much time you spent in VZ, but I can assure you that thousands drive without licenses–just like Miami.

          • Jeffry House Says:

            Good point on the rock steadiness, Ira. That might be the explanation. My Venezuela time was as part of a government delegation, so I can’t claim that my observation was deep.

            Still, if you’re gonna have video surveillance, it should be set up correctly, so that if a car does have a licence, you tape it. I don’t really get the idea that the surveillance can be set up any which way because people might not have plates. Because they MIGHT have plates, too.

  2. CharlesC Says:

    Newsbreak: ALBA meeting-all agree to support Cuba, all agree to support
    Syria, all agree to support Argentina re.Falkland Islands , all agree
    Chavez is good, US is bad- just made up the last one- haha.
    Question is – what does this have to do withVenezuela?
    This is just Chavez’s game and the loser is Venezuela.

    • CharlesC Says:

      Senor Devil, what happened to the agreements that were supposed
      to be presented -is it happening now- where Venezuela and Cuba
      begin the merging process into becoming one country?
      Is it this week?

    • CharlesC Says:

      This ALBA meeting- nobody mentioned a word about Honduras?
      Where’s that pinhead-Zelaya?
      You know, Chavez’s boy….

  3. “There’s a joke in Caracas that goes something like this: “If you get robbed, don’t shout. The police might come.” The federal government, never known for its timely or reliable statistics, recently estimated that as many as one fifth of all crimes in Venezuela are committed by the police. The line between cops and criminals is further blurred by vigilantes who wear black ski masks and carry out summary executions with tacit approval from the authorities. This duality reaches the upper levels of government. A general might be supplying arms to Colombian drug smugglers. A prosecutor could be running an extortion racket, and the journalist who blows the whistle on him could be accused of plotting his murder”

    It’s obvious that Chavismo condones and even propitiates these exacerbated crime conditions.

    Try to explain the reasons to the average people in Catia or 23 de Enero, or uneducated Chavez supporters: good luck.

    • firepigette Says:

      This is a real problem CI .Folks don’t want to see, and nobody sees what they don’t want to.First you have to find a good reason to want to.

  4. firepigette Says:

    “The government has displayed a particular ambiguity toward
    non-state armed groups that sympathise with its political
    project. Urban “colectivos” combining political and
    criminal activities, including armed actions against opposition
    targets, operate largely unchallenged and with broad
    impunity. The Bolivarian Liberation Forces have established
    control over parts of the border with Colombia,
    while the FARC and ELN guerrillas from the other side
    have long found shelter and aid on Venezuelan soil. ”

    Click to access 38%20Violence%20and%20Politics%20in%20Venezuela.pdf

  5. moctavio Says:

    How many baseball players get kidnapped in the US every year?


    Which country has more?

    • Ira Says:

      Sometimez you read something, and there’s a beautiful gem in there.

      This is the gem I got from this article:

      “He has two main options. He can stay away from his country altogether, or he can build a fortress. High walls, razor wire, prisonlike security doors, private guards in watchtowers…

      “These things signify realism, not paranoia.”

      Those last 6 words are the ones I’m talking about.

  6. island canuck Says:

    And now the question of gun control is being pushed by Chavez.
    You can ask yourself why?

    Is it because he wants to help the crime problem or is it because he wants to get the guns out of the hands of anyone who is against him before he steals the next election or has an auto coup? Don’t think the lessons of Libia, etc. have not been learned.

    If they try & disarm the people of Venezuela, which is virtually impossible, do you think that gangs in the barrios will be first on the list?

    Not likely – it will be Jorge business man or Jose home owner who has one in his store or home to protect himself.

    Venezuela is like the old west – savage & brutal. You need to protect yourself although in the current video it didn’t work out. Hopefully he was lucky enough to hit one of them.

  7. firepigette Says:

    Carlos Iglesia,

    I talk almost everyday to one friend or family member in Venezuela, because I have the Vonage phone system that for 5 dollars monthly I can speak to anyone in Venezuela for an unlimited amount of time.

    One of the most puzzling things I find is understanding why are there so many different reactions to life in Venezuela? I mean it is so schizophrenic that it is hard to fathom and just get a clear picture of mood concerning the overall reaction to daily life there.

    Some people say they are happy and things are pretty much the same.Others say they are living in a hell on Earth and don’t venture out for fear.

    Those who say things are still great don’t jibe with me that well.I left 4 years after Chavez for the simple reason that crime had escalated to an intolerable point for me….and just imagine ,now it is much worse!

    Last night an old friend of mine who lives in that area between SBU and El Hatillo described it quite well i think:

    There are basically 2 types of people:

    1. those who see the crime and live in fear, and take precautions
    2. those who live in a world of denying their fear and go about their business as though reality did not exist….

    The second group of people are particularly hard to reach, and more than likely not going to be clear headed in the voting process with their tendency to deny reality.

    Depending on the level of education of the deniers, and their sub-cultures we may see some voting for Chavez again out of fear,others with their mind elsewhere, and others voting for those who least upset the apple cart.There are those who actually do not realize yet the extent and power of organized crime now in Venezuela and the difficulties in ridding Venezuela of this plague.

    A very complicated problem that will require much thought.

    I wake up everyday worried about the reaction of many of these deniers after October 7, and on a more personal level, the future of the many people I love there.

    • well, cochonette de feu, if there are people in cities like Ccs who aren’t worried about crime, they must be either crazy, or criminals themselves.

      With such astronomical crime rates, there no way any sane personal with a family can feel comfortable and secure in a war zone of sorts.

      • firepigette Says:


        Of course that is the way we would think.

        But there are still quite a few young people and some others according to my contacts,friends and family who go about their days as though little were happening.Others are holed up in their houses.This devil may attitude comes from a very primitive psychological defense mechanism called denial.

        I even have one friend who normally claims to be horrified who lapses into states of unawareness.

        example:On New Year’s Eve….

        He lives in Caurimare alone in an apartment, and at 4 am his sister came and got him and together they went down to La Guaira to her house.

        I later asked him why did he did such a thing? His answer..

        .” well you know…we can’t always be worried”

  8. Coincidentally, last place I lived in Vzla was Los Palos Grandes, supposedly an “upscale” safe neighborhood.

    Back in 1991, though, they still stole my car right in front of my building, 2nda transversal. That did it for me, after a couple close calls, outta there!

    I can only imagine how much worse it must be after Chavismo now. 95% of my friends and family have left the country, mostly because of this: to avoid getting killed for a pair of shoes.

    And the very few who still live in CCS live in a constant state of panic, paranoia and fear. can’t go out, looking over their shoulders, not stopping at red lights..

    Most of the millions of us who fled from our country, including the author of this blog I presume, are educated, prepared professionals, elite business people much needed in Vzla.

    So there you have it. Most of the people left, not all but most, are under-educated, incompetent people, most of them leeches of the system. One of the main reasons it’s a pathetic mess these days.

    • CharlesC Says:

      “95% of my friends and family have left the country, “-my situation is the opposite
      but I am thankful everyday that none live in Caracas. And, usually noone goes out alone, etc. Several travel a lot around the country -city to city and I worry about them out on the road..
      And, they are educated, teachers, etc.
      We encourage others to get their visas etc. but most have a business, family, etc,
      and cannot even think about leaving…

  9. Dr. Faustus Says:

    What is fascinating here is that the Chavinistas appear to ‘want’ this insane crime problem to continue. It’s very strange. Most ‘authoritarian’ types of government do just the opposite. You could walk the streets of Pyongyang today with little fear. I remember how safe the streets of the old East Berlin (DDR) were to western tourists. Hitler’s Germany was no different. People generally choose authoritarian leaders to make the trains run on time (Mussolini) and provide more safety on the streets for their citizens. Yet,….yet Chavez and the boys see no need to control their own spiraling crime rates. They may even encourage it. It keeps everyone off balance. I am befuddled.

    • Roberto N Says:

      Chavez and Co. did not get to where they are without significant help from the criminal element in Venezuela, hence the “working relationship” they have.

      La Piedrita’s leaders and collective, Lina Ron, et alia, all run/ran with impunity and walked the streets, and still do, despite arrest warrants out for them.

      I see at least two possibilities here: Either they have the goods on Chavez in some form or another, or he fears them enough to leave well enough alone.

      The fact that crime goes largely unpunished is a state policy, not mere coincidence.

      • CharlesC Says:

        “working relationship” -that is it in a nutshell.Anyone working with criminals
        IS a criminal.And look at the news-FARC leader has been in VZ since
        2005. Yet, how many times have you heard Chavez and his minions say
        “There are no FARC in Venezuela.” (Probably Chavez gave them
        Venezuelan citizenship already..)

    • Ira Says:

      Very good post:

      No one is capable of figuring this out.

      Is it possible that the administration is so screwed up that they CAN’T handle the problem? It seems we’re all dismissing this possibility.

  10. Humberto Says:

    I find the callousness of “Rudy’s” comment appalling. Does this person not get the pervasiveness of criminal behavior in Venezuela? Last year my mother was robbed at gunpoint in her house at noon on a Friday. Every friend & relative of mine has a similar story. My brother, a small business owner, was dealing with gunpoint robberies every month. Now, it is not a problem because he has moved his business to Panama.

    What is Panama doing right that Venezuela is not?

    • sapitosetty Says:

      The most basic fundamentals of law enforcement shouldn’t be so hard to understand. Am I the only one who has noticed that Venezuela has become example #1 against the leftist analysis of crime? That is, decreased poverty & wealth disparity will cut crime rates. Clearly, it’s time for plan B: a functioning police & legal system.

      Venezuela has been working slowly on that (with quiet help from foreign embassies, including, I believe, Germany’s and Canada’s), putting in the Policia Nacional and giving golden parachutes to the most corrupt Policia Metropolitanas. But the process took years longer than it was supposed to.

      Homicides may have peaked in 2008. That was also when oil income peaked, and when the Tarek Al Aissimi became interior minister. Correlation ≠ causation, but both are fodder for analysis. While I don’t trust Tarek, he seems considerably more serious about his job than were his predecessors. (Faint praise.)

      Regardless, impunity remains the rule, rather than the exception. The only place in Venezuela that I’ve seen the public warned overtly against bribing functionaries was in SAIME. Every police car should have a phone number on it to report corruption. And if you want to end the sense of impunity, you need to start with the rich and powerful. That means, ticket or tow cars parked on the sidewalk outside clubs in Las Mercedes with just as much enthusiasm as you go after microtraficantes in Petare. I’m curious from those of you who live in Venezuela whether there is yet a general sense that a person done wrong can safely go to the police. I never felt that way, but I left more than a year ago.

      • Gringo Says:

        Homicides may have peaked in 2008.

        If murder statistics are accurate, this may be the case. An alternate explanation is that by 2008 the Chavez regime realized that the murder rate was bad publicity, so it made some effort in massaging statistics.

        I also recall much editing of the Venezuela murder rates in Wikipedia from 2008 on, though for the most recent year it is listed as 67. I doubt it will stay that high in Wiki for long, though.

        It is difficult to determine what murder statistics actually are in Venezuela these days. High, but how high?

        According to Wikipedia: in 1986, the US had a higher murder rate than Venezuela.


        • anon Says:

          The murder rates take off after Hugo Chávez and his band of thugs come to power in 1999, so this page doesn’t cover the period we’re interested in.

          • Gringo Says:

            The link wasn’t intended to cover the current period. I added the link to point how things have changed. 1986: Murder rate in Venezuela slightly lower than that of US. 2011: Murder rate in Venezuela ~ 10 X that of US.

            [If you want to see international murder rates comparison for the current period, follow the link. There will be a link for more current murder rates.

      • Gringo Says:

        Am I the only one who has noticed that Venezuela has become example #1 against the leftist analysis of crime?

        No. 🙂

        • firepigette Says:

          Wealth inequality is a very limited reason for criminal activity.Some of the wealthiest states like Maryland and Hawaii have higher crime rates and some of the poorest like Maine and Kentucky have lower rates.It is too simplistic and misleading to fix the problem of crime through ideological concepts which always keep us in a box, whether they be progressive or conservative ,and each country is a rule unto itself.

          Corrupted officials are necessary for the highly organized International crime in which Venezuela takes part. It behooves Chavez to create this confusion.

          Chavez government needs to create a climate of fear in order to keep people submissive and weak and somewhat under control….and why would Chavez want to spend the money on additional prisons anyway?

          At this point cannot tell exactly how much crime is coming from National chaos and how much is coming from organized crime and or how much the
          2 intertwine.

          • Kepler Says:

            Ineguality, ineguality, not poverty or rich, Firepigette. It seems you don’t see the difference (not that I think inequality is not one of the factors)
            Mali is poorer than Venezuela, but most people are very poor and few are flauntiing their wealth as in Venezuela. Of course, the main factor is that Venezuela has no rule of law and is governed by thugs.

            • firepigette Says:

              “Ineguality, ineguality, not poverty or rich, Firepigette.??”

              English please Kepler I don’t understand what you are saying here?

          • Ira Says:

            I could not agree more, and I’ve posted similarly in the past:

            Fighting crime is a very understood science these days, and income and whatever other inequalities people want to blame it on have nothing to do with it at all.

            VZ has its crime problem because Chavez has sent a few very clear messages through his words and actions:

            1) It is your right to steal from those “oligarchs” who have oppressed you.

            2) We have politicized the law enforcement community so that fighting crime is no longer a priority.

            3) Our justice system is too busy with the people’s revolution to worry about justice for you, the individual.

            4) And what you said about maintaining a climate of fear.

            When I asked about this a few weeks ago, I don’t remember who answered my query about WHY Chavez simply doesn’t seem to care about the crime problem, and that’s the only answer that makes sense:

            Some politicians keep negative conditions intact for the reasons of using promised changes during their campaigns. But VZ’s crime problems are so off the charts that this couldn’t be the case.

            Yeah, HCF wants people to live in fear, so he can appear as the only “strong man” to fix it. But after 12 years and after how bad it’s gotten, that alone doesn’t make sense.

      • Kepler Says:

        Check my stats, Setty.
        And what do you mean by “peaked”? There was just a local maximum in oil prices on yearly basis, which would probably be the thing one should mind:
        Prices were higher than now for three months, starting May. The extra money pours in, I believe, about 6 months later.

    • Virginia Laffitte Says:

      NO CHAVEZ!!

  11. Syd Says:

    Not so OT. Siguen agregando ciudades en el exterior para el voto este domingo, 12 de febrero:


    Hace falta ir con cédula, aún vencida .. siempre y cuando este laminada y estes inscrito/a en el registro electoral en el consulado del país en donde vas a votar. Si no has hecho tu registro en el consulado, NO podras votar en las primarias pero si te registras lo más pronto posible (para Toronto, por lo menos, antes del 15 de abril) podras votar en las elecciones de Octubre.

    • Carlos Says:

      Syd, una pregunta, a ver si me la puedes aclarar. Tengo que estar registrado en el exterior para poder votar en las primarias, o solamente en el REP? He encontrado información contradictoria al respecto. Gracias de antemano

      • Syd Says:

        Hola Carlos,
        Adónde quedas inscrito en el REP/CNE? Si es en Venezuela y ahora vives en el exterior NO PUEDES votar en el consulado, aún con cédula. Tienes que cambiar tu centro electoral en Venezuela a tu consulado más cercano. Y eso toma unos meses.
        Te invito a que leas la página de facebook hecha por los organizadores del voto en Toronto:

        Ahí encontrarás alguna información que te pueda ayudar a entender este rollo. (No eres el único con inquietudes.)

      • Roberto N Says:

        Como dice Syd, tienes hasta el 15 de Abril para registrarte en el exterior y votar en Octubre. Lo haces yendo al consulado o embajada que sirve el area donde vives y pidiendo cambio de centro de votacion.

        Nota para Syd y otros. El CNE le dio a la MUD los listados de los votantes inscritos para votar este Domingo. Por un lado, los numeros de cedula estaban fuera de orden, y las fechas de nacimiento estaban cambiadas, haciendo a todos 2 Años mayores de lo que somos. Por otro lado, si chequeas en el portal del CNE si estas inscrito para votar este Domingo, puede ser que aparezcas como no inscrito, sin embargo tu nombre puede aparecer en el listado que tiene la MUD local, y si lo tiene la MUD, puedes votar.

        Asi pasa con mi esposa, que aparece como lista para votar este Domingo en el listado de la MUD de Washington, pero en el portal del CNE dice que no puede.

        Asi que: Si Ud. se registro para votar este Domingo en el exterior, no confie en lo que dice el portal del CNE. Vaya al lugar de votacion y confirme su presencia en la lista.

        Yo estare en el centro de votacion de Washington DC todo el dia ayudando a que los votantes ejerzan su derecho al voto.

        Si tienen el tiempo, escribanle a los organizadores de su centro local y ofrezcan su ayuda, estoy seguro que se le agradeceran!

  12. vdpsc Says:

    My father was kidnapped and robbed in Venezuela this year. They stole everything including his truck, watch, groceries, wallet etc…. I am just thankful they didn’t kill him. It would be interesting to know anecdotally how many followers of the blog have had direct family or friends victimized by violent crime. My dad has a small metal fabrication business which he is able to employee many people. He had his fourth heart attack two years ago. I have asked him to leave. Venezuela is literally killing him. He says he loves Venezuela and it is his home. He is not willing to give up yet. I miss him and the rest of my family, but at this point, I will not go back.

  13. Henry Says:

    One number more: in this moment in Venezuela only the 3% the homicide are solved by the authorities!

    The family of the 97% the dead people don’t find justice….

  14. Henry Says:

    HI friends, yes you are right in the US happens the same things, the difference is the frequency, rate or index of homicide per 100.000 persons in a year:
    US 2010: 5,5
    Venezuela 2010: 48 (expected 2011: 57)

    Do you look the diference? Venezuela multiply the average the US by nine!

  15. sapitosetty Says:

    Rudy: I lived and worked in the US for 17 years, from the end of 1990 to mid 2007. I was robbed once at gunpoint, had several bicycles stolen, and knew several young people who died, almost all in automobile crashes.

    I lived in Venezuela for three years, from mid-2007 to mid-2010. In that time, I was robbed four times, including once with a gun, once hand-to-hand and once in an especially aggressive machete attack. I also knew several people who were kidnapped, some of them more than once. And in my office of eight employees, two people in one year lost siblings to gunshot murders — once in a robbery, once in revenge for yelling at a bus driver.

    I assure you, Venezuela is much worse than the US. If you really don’t believe me, and you decide to live like the typical US resident — walking wherever you want whenever you want, rarely worrying about holdups — I just wish you well. And I hope that you survive long enough to see a safer Venezuela, so you can know how wrong you once were.

  16. Ronaldo Says:

    This is a rare occurrence in the U.S. and the police will investigate and the courts will prosecute. It is an everyday problem in Vzla which everyone fears and the police and courts rarely find or prosecute these criminals.

    Question: Would you move to Caracas?

  17. Miguel Octavio Says:

    Sure Rudy, the difference is one of the rate that it happens here, but that it probably hard for you to understand, you know, numbers and all that are not easy for fanatics.

    Funny, I live in the US, have not known anyone that this has happened to here, know dozens in Venezuela. Close people. Almost weekly.

  18. Rudy Says:

    The same things happens in the US every day, so whats the problems, just old woman talk!

    • CharlesC Says:

      Rudeee, go fly a freakin’ kite!

    • Kepler Says:

      The murder rate in Venezuela is over 65 x 100 000. In the US it is about 5 x 100 000. In Chile, Western Europe, it’s about 2 x 100 000. Again: in Venezuela it is over 65!
      I wonder if you comprehend what “rate” is.
      Such a moron!

    • geha714 Says:

      Crime is the US is the lowest point in 20 years.
      Venezuela is now one of the most violent countries in the world.

      Jefe, no joda tanto. Los trolls van a trolear.

    • Albionboy Says:

      The differences are;

      1 Criminals stand a 1 in three chance being caught in the US,
      in Venezuela 1 in 20

      2 The murder rate is 10 times higher than the US.

      3 You don’t have a president (Chavez) that goes on TV and says if he didn’t have money to buy food he would rob people

      • anon Says:

        The murder solve rate in Veneuela has been reported as just over 3%. It seems just under 97% of cases barely make a case in court. Sometimes, like in the kidnapping of a person I know, the police do their jobs, people are apprehended but somehow the case never makes it into the courhouse. Surprisingly this can be considered a “good thing” as you don’t have to face your kidnappers another time and risk becoming a victim yet again of a) a violent intimidation campaign and/or b) the violent vengeance of their unnamed associates. Of course, it’s everyone for himself here.

    • bobthebuilder Says:

      I lived in the US for some years and never once heard or saw gunfire, never heard of any friends or acquaintances who were victims of crime.

      Whereas… in Caracas such episodes are a daily occurrence. Close friends have been kidnapped and their family members murdered. The fact this video event also happened at a pharmacy I used to visit regularly underlines that point.

    • G.W.E.H. Says:

      Rudy, an equivalent homicide rate would have the U.S. at over 1 million homicides by firearm per year. The American president would probably get accused of genocide.

    • what are you stupid man. I lived in caracas for 50 years had a gun to my head twice and had 4 cars stolen and my girlfriend was almost rapped.

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