Quico says: Want something new to be alarmed by? Check out the newly enacted anti-kidnapping law – something I’d written about before – which mandates the Prosecutor General’s office to freeze all financial assets belonging to kidnap victim’s families to prevent them paying ransom.
The rules extend to the second-degree of consanguinity and force banks to disclose any loans made to the family during the freeze. Which means if your second cousin gets kidnapped just before you submit a mortgage or business loan application, you’re shit out of luck. The law even empowers a Ministerio Público official to set a kind of “allowance” for you – deciding how much of your salary you’re allowed to keep to make sure there isn’t a medio left over at the end of the month to pay ransom with.
It may be one of the most shockingly hamfisted policies I’ve heard in recent years. As though the kidnapping of a relative wasn’t traumatic enough, the new law means once that happens, your assets get kidnapped too.
But what if your relative is killed and the body isn’t found? Do your assets stay “frozen” indefinitely?
Would you report a kidnapping, knowing what the government would do to your stuff? And, if nobody reports, guess what happens to the kidnapping statistics?Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.