We Sleep With The Fishes

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Remember in The Godfather when, in the middle of the movie, Don Vito is shot after buying oranges? If my memory is correct, the ensuing thirty minutes or so consisted of a fascinating series of sequences highlighting open warfare between the families. Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey at an Italian restaurant, and Sonny makes an ill-advised stop at a toll booth.

Open mob warfare has never looked better.

Funny how the real thing is not nearly as glamorous. Mafia warfare is what Venezuela is living through these days.

Yesterday, the president and three other members of the Board of Fedecámaras were shot at and hijacked. Former Fedecámaras head Albis Muñoz is hospitalized after being shot – in the chest, mind you – three times.

Now, we all know there is a crime wave. But these people were assaulted, hijacked, and injured – using machine guns. This is not your regular old criminal – this is organized crime we’re dealing with. What happened yesterday looks a lot like a political hit job, one that will probably go unpunished.

Another story that failed to make headlines had a similar undertone. Amberling López, a businessman based in Coche, arrived at Caracas’ International Airport. He asked his wife and young son to wait for him in the terminal while he walked to the parking lot to fetch his car.

He never made it back. López was the victim of a hit job in the airport’s parking lot, his corpse ridden with more than 30 bullet wounds. Again, machine guns were at play. Again, he was not robbed of any of his possessions.

So much for feeling safe at an airport.

What we are witnessing now is a clear uptick in political violence. This is no longer a problem of people coming to your house to tie you down and steal your stuff. This is a Mafia war, one that not even bus drivers are safe from. Mercenaries armed with weapons of war – I wonder where they got them from? – are specifically targeting private business.

It’s no longer proper to say private property in Venezuela is being undermined or threatened.

Private property is being hunted down.

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