Chacon: Hard at work going soft on crime

Venezuela is one of the most violent countries on earth. Averaging 43 murders every single day, street crime in Venezuela can fairly be said to be totally out of control. The government, alas, doesn’t seem to have noticed. Its response to the epidemic of violence has been silence.

Yesterday, finally, Interior Minister Jesse Chacon touched on the issue. His plan? To turn Venezuelan jails into “penitentiary communities” where prisoners can meet their families and work in a “humanized environment.”

Now, I’m not generally given to right-wing tirades about coddling criminals, and given Venezuelan jails’ tragic human rights record, any move to improve conditions should be welcomed. Nevertheless, Chacon’s priorities strike me as bizarrely misplaced. In the midsts of the grinding daily bloodbath that grips the country, the interior minister’s big new policy idea is to make jails nicer!

[shameless political aside: when will the opposition start to make political capital out of the government’s utter lack of concern for people’s safety?]