Maracay: Crime Thriving In Venezuela’s Military Enclave

May 14, 2015


This week, the Venezuelan military and the police essentially took over the city of Maracay, attempting to restore order in the crime ridden San Vicente barrio. While most of the news has centered on the origins of this confrontation, what I find the most interesting is that this happens to be ocurring in Maracay of all places.

You see, the city of Maracay, located about 130 Km. South West of Caracas is as much of a military enclave as there exists in Venezuela. Look up, for example, Wikipedia, and you will find the following list of “interesting facts about Maracay”:


After history and Economy and Transport, comes “Military”, because the military plays such an essential role in the life of the city. And under Military, you will find the following description:


Maracay is the cradle of aviation, Chavez led his coup from there, the 4th. Armored division is there and Venezuela’s gun production military company is there.

Despite this huge military presence, the military has been unable to protect itself from the widespread crime of the country. In fact, Maracay is among the top cities in crime per inhabitant and the crooks seem to be armed with grenades and weapons “obtained” from the many military facilities in the city. As an example, when some gang members were killed by the police, the gangs retaliated by simultaneously attacking three units of the investigative police with grenades, which led to the raid on Barrio San Vicente.

Which leads to my main point: Venezuela’s military is so incapable, so dysfunctional, that it can not even protect its own turf. You would think that a city dominated by military life would be the safest, as high ranking officers worry about their wives and kids. Instead, their inability to coordinate and execute, their lack of training and their corruption has made their own turf among the worst in the country.

In fact, the grenades and weapons come from the same factory the military runs. It is just big business to sneak out and sell a grenade here, a box of bullets there and a gun somewhere else. That’s how the gangs armed themselves.

But you can’t blame it all on incompetent military. This is in fact part of the Chávez legacy. Chávez wanted these now so-called gangs to be armed, in order to create paramilitary groups that would support him and his Government when and if the time came. Except that these groups took a life of their own, became independent enterprises, while the military found it hard to go against the Big Boss and looked the other way, while they also enriched themselves.

So now, over ten years late, the revolution tries to stop the monster it created. Reportedly, there were three dead and 800 wounded in the raid and they keep running them trying to isolate the gangs. But the big problem is that those detained will suffer the same system of injustice that has been allowed in Venezuela during the last 16 years: Jails have triple their capacity, most prisoners remain jailed without sentencing and guess who runs the jails?  The same gangs that run San Vicente, kill cops at will and fight the military.

So the military is now being bitten by its own incompetence, indolence and ability to ignore even the problems that surround them. When and if this nightmare ends, one has to wonder if the military simply has to be eliminated, they seem as dysfunctional as the Chavista Government and incapable of contributing to restoring order and organization in Venezuelan society.

18 Responses to “Maracay: Crime Thriving In Venezuela’s Military Enclave”

  1. ABOUT TIME Says:

    Diosdado has a lot of blood on his hands.

  2. ABOUT TIME Says:

    the biggest fucking news ever about Venezuela-US relations and not a peep. Not even a mention. Maybe a little tweet. This is surreal folks.

  3. ABOUT TIME Says:




  4. ABOUT TIME Says:

    U.S. Probes Venezuelan Leaders Over Drug Trafficking

    U.S. prosecutors are investigating several high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including the president of the country’s congress, on suspicion that they have turned the country into a global hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering, according to more than a dozen people familiar with the probes.
    An elite unit of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington and federal prosecutors in New York and Miami are building cases using evidence provided by former cocaine traffickers, informants who were once close to top Venezuelan officials and defectors from the Venezuelan military, these people say.

    A leading target, according to a Justice Department official and other American authorities, is National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, considered the country’s second most-powerful man.

  5. jau Says:

    As a mirror to Maracay, look no further than Barinas, a state that has been ruled by Chavez family for the last XX years. Barinas is a very dangerous place, full of guerrilla, kidnappings and general lawlessness.

    I do think that the military has to be eliminated (as in Costa Rica and Panama), the Bolivar has to be eliminated (welcome USD) and PDVSA and all the Guyana enterprises have to be privatized.

  6. Duncan Says:

    What will happen when a foreign, well organised mafia takes more than a narco role in the country? They will have more money and clout than any government that succeeds the current regime.

  7. Salesman Says:

    Well this military was designed to defeat the United States. It has no experience fighting hungry street gangs.

    I wonder how the maintenance on those Russian planes is holding up?

  8. notiven Says:

    3 dead ? My brother that lives in Maracay told me he had seen pictures of the back of an open Pick Up truck where you could see a lot of feet on top of more feet.

  9. Boludo Tejano Says:

    That was prescient on Miguel’s part to make a screen shot of the Wikipedia entry on Maracay. I would not be surprised if some enterprising PSF will soon “edit” the entry on Maracay to downplay the military presence on Maracay.

  10. Boludo Tejano Says:

    Maracay: Crime Thriving In Venezuela’s Military Enclave

    I am reminded of Osama Bin Laden, who for years lived less than a mile from Pakistan’s equivalent of West Point.

  11. Drunk Says:

    I believe that is 800 arrested, not wounded.

  12. Dionisio or Donncha Says:

    Sorry Octavio the Bon voyage was for my wife. I should put my anteojos on before writing emails. What a sorry state poor VZ is in. I worked as a consultant in Maracay 30 years ago and don’t think we are talking about the same place!

    Enviado desde mi iPad


  13. Dionisio or Donncha Says:

    Bon voyage

    Enviado desde mi iPad


  14. The roads connecting the country to the beaches at Cata and Choroni go through Maracay. These roads are dangerous and poorly maintained, the crime wave in Maracay makes it mandatory to travel in daylight, preferably in the morning when the bad guys and drunks are asleep.

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