1 COMMENT

  1. In different circumstances I would be laughing at the video but a friend of mine got killed 2 days ago in a carjack, leaving wife, 2 kids and a whole parade of depressed family and friends behind… Is so damn surreal…

  2. Well, I sure feel old and from another planet…WTF! I just can imagine the “pranes and sus carros” in the Venezuelan jails singing and dancing this song during la overnight “visita conjugal”

  3. Slightly off topic but I have *just* put together the following comparison:

    “A little tidbit on the vast disparities in crime in the cities of the Americas: the most current data on homicide in Bogotá showed a rate of 15.1 (per 100,000 hab.) If this rate were to be included in the last complete US ranking (2011) Bogotá would rank 17th, being between Chicago and Pittsburgh and below cities like Washington, DC and Miami, FL. On the other hand, Bogotá would need to reduce its crime rate to less than a third of what it is just to be comparable to Canada’s most dangerous city in 2010 (Thunder Bay, rate=4.2). The last murder rate I could find for Caracas (2012) was of 108. The formerly “most dangerous cities in the world” of Cali and Medellín reported rates of 80 and 50 respectively (down from 381 in 1991 Medellín, with Pablo Escobar and all).”

    We might all understand it here in the blog, but it goes to showing that urban crime in Caracas ain’t just because of the blanket statement: “it’s not safe down in South America” but that it has to do with other specific and particular causes. It’s just absolutely shocking for me to see that Venezuela, which had pretty much escaped the ridiculous amount of violence we’ve had, is experiencing urban violence levels (at least in Caracas) greater than cities in (to put it bluntly) a country with a 50-year-old armed conflict and a displaced population that rivals Sudan’s in number.

  4. Cachaco, forget about comparing “cities”.
    Venezuela has by far the highest murder RATE of South America. In 1998 it was just a third or less of what it is today. Colombia and Brazil had higher murder rates.
    I don’t get why Capriles and other oppo leaders not talk concretely about RATE, RATE, across time and space. This is what Venezuelans should be insisting on. You can compare things more easily with a rate than just numbers for this or that city and you really don’t need to have more than primary school education to understand what a rate is.

    The 7th Report from UNODC showed the murder rate in Venezuela was 19 in 1998, over 34 in 2002 when Jesse Chacón led Venezuela to stop sending such numbers. Still, the murder rate now would be 65 or higher.

    I really don’t get it why people keep focusing on “cities”, specially for Venezuela where city borders are not something formally recorded anywhere.

    • Kepler, the concept of “rate” is hard to explain, many people do not get it…I really have to explaining more that once to my ecology students. I just wonder how many journalism from the Venezuelan newspapers really get the concept.

        • I don’t think so, at least you didn’t get the part the man is making a candid comment on a website, not a PhD dissertation so the Lord of know-it-all can come with a fastidious and lengthy reply that deviates the comment of Cachaco (about violence between Bogotá and Caracas and respectively in those countries). Note he didn’t made a comments about who have the highest murder rate, he is making a candid comment about what he perceive differences in between those countries, and cities, very valid point. Very valid because even the drug lords have moved to Venezuela the violence that Colombian people have suffered under the hands of the guerrilla and the drug lords we haven’t in Venezuela, for many reasons. We might get it pretty soon, tho.

          So you did read it, but you didn’t understand what he/ she said.

          Moreover, city murder rates offer very valid insight about the social behavior of that particular city limit/ neighborhood etc, pretty valid.

          And yes, you can expand-contract the geographical limit as much as you want of your chosen distribution, that doesn’t change a bit Cachaco’s point no?.

    • I don’t get it. What do you mean by “rate”? El Cachaco was comparing rates (as murder numbers normalized by population). Are you talking about a different rate (e.g. change over time)?

      Your comment mentions “rates” of “19” and “34”, but doesn’t clarify what they mean. Clarify please.

      • Two things:
        1) Cachaco was comparing rates and that’s much better than absolute frequency only but it is still tricky if what you compare are cities, specially for Venezuela: city limits are “fuzzy” at best and more often than not statistics are comparing there pears with apples.
        It can also be the case that a country X has an extremely dangerous city C and the rest of the country is relatively safe whereas a country Y has several very dangerous cities but not as dangerous as C…the murder rate of country Y could still be higher, considerably higher than that of country X.
        2) as regards to the general debate, neither opposition leaders nor, not surprisingly, Chavistas, talk about rates at all.

        X murders per 100 thousand inhabitants per year is the usual measure, just as Cachaco was probably measuring the stuff for Colombia.

        So: one can have a better idea by using the murder rate but preferably for the whole country.

        In 1998 Venezuela had a murder rate of 19 murders per 100 000 inhabitants, which seemed to be a similar rate to what I read from an old German book on Venezuela of Gómez. It seems Venezuela got to a historical low in the seventies.
        In 2002 the murder rate was around 34 murders per 100 000 inhabitants. Now it’s 65 or more murders per 100 000 inhabitants

      • I agree that the politicians should bring these numbers into light. In general, more data should be used to back up whatever they claim. But that’s another story…

        I think there’s still value in looking at city murder rates.

        – Comparing cities helps raise awareness. If you tell someone that Caracas has a X murder rate, that probably means nothing to them. But comparing its rate to that of a well known dangerous city puts it in perspective. Even if the comparison isn’t exactly apples to apples, it’s not completely far off.

        – I still care about murder rates on a more granular level than the country level. Even if country X had only one dangerous city C and a bunch of safe cities, making its murder rate well below country Y’s, hell, there’s still clearly a problem in city C that needs our attention! This only breaks down when the geographic area in question is way too small for the rate to have significance; but I believe that limit is smaller than the typical city size (maybe I’m wrong).

        When doing time-comparisons, as long as the same methodology was used to define the city boundaries every time, I think the comparison is valid. (Note that I’m not saying the boundaries themselves have to be the same, just the same methodology to compute them).

        • It all depends how you explain things, I think.

          You can say: “imagine 100 thousand people, so many as those living in Los Guayo’s city centre” (choose your target population). “In Chile last year one person in such a neighbourhood was murdered. In Venezuela, it was not one but seventy.
          The average Venezuela is twice as likely to be murdered as the average Colombian,
          even if Colombia is going through a civil war.
          In 1998, it was only 19 Venezuelans out of 100 thousand who were killed and we thought that was very bad.”

          As for city boundaries and statistics: that’s a particular challenge in Venezuela.

          This is a chart I created with data I save once a month from my region, Carabobo (I’d rather call it “Greater Valencia” 🙂

          Absolute murder per municipality (I didn’t differentiate municipalities in 2004 and 2005, just look at the total)
          http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-X4k5n1rAmu8/UOh3OjYof3I/AAAAAAAADW4/qQyflNRLeVk/s1600/20062012.png

          You don’t see it there but the highest increase was from 1999 until 2004.

          There are some regions that have completely merged, like Los Guayos, which was a town in a municipio of the same name when I was a wee child and now it’s a disastrous fusion of crappy town with slums that merge into Valencia.

          By the way: Los Guayos is the municipio with the highest density in my state and yet most people in Caracas and Valencia would still call the place “rural”. It is right next to the Valencia airport and very close to Valencia’s main avenues.
          That is a place where to campaign.
          Unfortunately, neither Capriles – in spite of all his efforts- nor any other major oppo representative have been there – according to friends and relatives from there.

        • The only observation I would make is that while statistics serve many useful purposes, do Venezuelans really need a stat to understand how bad the situation has gotten? I don’t need to tell anyone here, but by way of anecdotal evidence: I have a very very large Venezuelan part of my family from all parts and all strata that gathers at the holiday season, and at one of those gatherings, I did a poll of every single adult male, and every single one had experienced at least one assault at gunpoint (i.e. holdup, or worse). Which tells me that a stat is just going to confirm what everybody knows. (I can also say, I am a riot at Xmas parties).

    • Kepler, my reasons why I focused on cities are very non-Venezuelan, to be honest. As I said, I was compiling the statistics before Quico posted this and I was focusing on Colombia (perhaps this wasn’t clear on my post) and since the divide between rural and urban violence in Colombia is huge, perhaps not in number but definitely in source, the armed conflict plays a huge part in the life of rural Colombians but it feels (pretty much) as foreign in Bogotá as it does in Canada.

      That being said, I really appreciate the input regarding the fact that violence in Venezuela is a countrywide problem and is not just an urban issue. I’d love more info (and perhaps a post if our dear Chroniclers are inclines) on why violence and crime in Venezuela exhibit such a behaviour.

      • People piously say its the result of Poverty which If the regime is right and poverty has decreased substantially the last 14 years then violent crime should have dropped substantially during those years , instead is risen to unheard of levels . In contrast violent crime in the US and other Developed countries have fallen enormously the last 20 years . Father Alejandro Moreno has made his lifes work to study life in the barrios ( he lives in one) , what he points out is that for the last 20 odd years the poors social fabric has deteriorated to the level that few children are born to stable structured families , most are the children of transient couples , where the father abandons the mother once she gives birth to her child and the mother then has other children with other men she mates with for a while. The other is often very young and inammature and incapable of taking care of it , so the child is often also emotionally and materially abandoned by the mother . Children born and reared in these conditions become damaged adults , they have no one to pay them much attention so they develop a need to prove their worth by joining gangs and engaging in acts of wantom cruelty and violence . The situation has gotten worse as each year passes and so have violent crime statistics . The other aspect of course has to do with an almost total breakdown in law enforcement and criminal justice which recieves little attention from a government which is only interesting in doing showy things to feed its electoral popularity and increasing its hold on power.

  5. All this makes me remember how back in the early 70’s we were living in Perez Bonalde in Catia and even as a foreign women i could walk up the mountain at night from the Avenida Sucre, and how our friends would give ‘serenatas’ in 23 de Enero without being in any danger whatsoever.There were’ rateros’ and drunks but no major dangers.

    …in my mind, tracing the steps from there to here…

  6. This video only shows the state of violence and moral decomposition that Venezuela is experiencing. Kinda gross some parts of it.

  7. Así mucho más light que mis otros comentarios, me encanta cuando descubro que expresiones que creemos son colombianas (o incluso bogotanas) son compartidas por los venezolanos. Choro, es un ejemplo de esto.

    • There is a touch of genius in this, and I love the intent to offend that they obviously have, BUT, I agree, I can’t get over the racial stereotyping, which is also wrong. EVERYBODY is a victim of the lawlessness in Venezuela, black and white, rich and poor. I would venture to say that the biggest victims are poor, mixed raced Venezuelans.

  8. excelent ue of the media to convey a social outcry. It is rancid, gross, and pegajosa (no pun intended), it may not portray the worse victims of violence, those in lower strata of society, but it does bring a point home.

    BTW the meta mensaje is clear, quien a hierro mata, a hierro muere!!! que esperanza para venezuela.

  9. spot on, as far as I’m concerned. A friend was a recent victim of sequestro express in Caracas, and it wasn’t pretty. He was blown away by who was involved — working alongside choros were police types and well-heeled citizens. Completely out of control.

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