This last weekend was the bloodiest of the year in Caracas’ undeclared civil war: 67 people were murdered between Friday and Sunday.
The AFP account – which, by the way, makes its way to newspapers the world over – is gripping. People shot down while enjoying a beer with their friends, cab drivers shot down while resisting a robbery attempt. One of them came into the morgue with nine gunshots wounds.
What forces prompts someone to shoot another human being and conclude that one gunshot wound is not enough, that they need to be gunned down nine times?
Pollsters have been telling us recently that poorer Venezuelans are reluctant to pin this obvious, horrific failure of the government … on the government! They tend to see the crime problem as related to poverty, not public policy.
This is bonkers on many, many levels, but it is what it is – although I’ve yet to see this theory tested in a more rigorous fashion.
The money quote comes from an unnamed police officer:
"This isn’t the government’s fault, it’s the families’ fault, it’s a cultural problem, they don’t make an effort to keep their kids in school. The government does all it can so that this stops happening…"
In other words, don’t look at us, this is all your fault.
Which, if you stop to think about it, contains more than a bit of truth in it.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.