Sunday, July 3

Organized crime and violent deaths gain ground under the Maduro regime and the pandemic




Crime makes its August during the Covid and does not comply with confinement. This is the case in Venezuela where organized crime and violent deaths increase while the Nicolás Maduro regime restricts the mobilization of citizens due to the pandemic and fuel shortages.

The report of the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV) counts some 11,000 violent deaths registered in the country in 2021, being the capital region which has presented highest incidence (77.9%), followed by Miranda state (64.1%), Bolivar (56.8%).

But most worrying is the rise of organized crime that “it has gained ground during the pandemic and that in many federal entities it replaces the official authorities, police and military forces,” denounces Roberto Briceño León.

The director of the OVV warns about the growth of criminal organizations with the tacit support of the Venezuelan State, especially in border areas and popular neighborhoods that have been abandoned by the official protection and security system.

Disappearances and clandestine arrests

The security plans that the Maduro regime has set in motion are the creation of peace zones (OLP) placed in the hands of criminals and the Special Action Forces (FAES) since 2015.

The FAES and other police forces have registered 6,335 deaths due to execution or police violence in 2021. The regime has not eliminated these police bodies despite the request of Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner.

Another modality of the rebound in violence experienced during the pandemic are the disappearances and clandestine arrests that occurred in 2021.

1,635 disappearances have been registered. Rafael Uzcátegui, director of the NGO, stated: “We have received complaints about clandestine places of detention.”

During the pandemic and the 7-day by 7-day confinement system implemented by Maduro, “members of political organizations, doctors and health personnel were detained in clandestine places for denouncing the hospital crisis. Also journalists, trade unionists and workers who demanded better working conditions, as well as activists and human rights defenders.

In terms of suicides, the OVV assured that the rate increased to 4.3% per 100,000 inhabitants, which is double what it registered in 2020.

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