Violence in Caracas reached new highs in April, and the numbers so far from May aren’t much better. Given this scenario, Nicolás Maduro announced this week that the Armed Forces would participate in a special security plan.
In his words, the plan would “…deploy special forces of the Army and the Armed Forces (FANB) to the streets to protect the zones that have to be protected.”
Sounds like a slam dunk, except that that would be… you know… Unconstitutional.
The 1999 Constitution made clear the difference between the role of the Armed Forces (in charge of national defense) and the one of the Security Bodies (in charge of public order). Only the National Guard is autorized to assist in the “maintenance of the internal order”.
The only way the rest of the Military can participate in public security operations is through a “state of emergency.” Which, I guess, is what we’re living with anyway.
Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres is very open to the idea, as he said that “…there’s a potential in the FANB that can be used to reduce criminality rates quickly”. So… that means using armed helicopters for chasing criminals like in Rio de Janeiro? Or perhaps those Russian missile systems could be deployed against pranes or something? The risk is that they could keep them, like some of those Dragunov sniper rifles.
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