Peace sells… but who's buying?

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00014152-originalThe word “peace” is in the air… more or less.

Last weekend, the government did a series of events under the theme “Peace and Life”. It was pretty underwhelming…

It was just a sneak preview of the upcoming State strategy to deal with crime: the “Pacification” Plan.

The plan was briefly introduced last November by Nicolas Maduro during one of his constant TV appereances. But the Spears-Berry murders of weeks ago has forced the government to ramp up inplementation. That explains why most people in Venezuela or even the experts on the subject don’t know what this “pacification” really means.

Well, we’ll find out on February 4th. Because nothing says pacification better like the anniversary of a failed coup d’etat. The plan will be officially put into effect five days later, which makes any modifications quite difficult, if not impossible.

Given the lack of details about the plan, only the nature of the language used so far to present it can be used as a hint of its content. And that’s what is worrying human rights NGOs, which are seeing it as a new effort to militarize Venezuelan society in general.

Beyond the war terminology (and its practical use like the “Secure Fatherland” plan), what has been done to push the idea of peace? Let’s take a look to “Peace and Life Movement”, an initiative created last year to promote an end to delinquency and violence. A sort-of NGO that is funded and endorsed by the government. The giveaway is that its current leader is also a Vice-Minister. So, how is it going for them since its start ten months ago?

Not quite right, I guess: A few cultural and sport activities, some former felons getting rehab in Cuba, some dull PSAs… Ah, and some quite suspicious methods of pacification.

Beside some positive developments in recent days, the government’s efforts to sell peace (or at least, whatever they call as such) look uphill. Until now, people are not buying it.

1 COMMENT

  1. Time to sell a further militarization and liberty reducing scheme as the solution to the overwhelming crime (they promoted all along)…

    Hasta cuando? cuanta estupidez cabe en un solo gentilicio?

  2. “A sort-of NGO that is funded and endorsed by the government”

    Some time ago, someone penned it in spanish as OMG (Organización Muy Gubernamental), unfortunately I don’t have the link for that.

    I propose to anglicize it as VGO (Very Governmental Organization).

  3. Blame it on family dynamics! So easy! So convenient!

    To me this all clearly goes in rhyme with the reading given to statistics and polls. Venezuelans to a large extent blame family issues not the Government as the main driver of crime. The government is obviously playing along and avoiding the issues that really matter. This all seems to be a well thought out plan with some skilled advisors behind the wheel.

    If you haven’t read these set of articles on precisely this matter, I invite you to do so because it’s an eye opener. The second is the sequel, published right after Monica Spear’s death:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2013/1015/Who-gets-blamed-for-crime-in-Venezuela-Hint-It-s-not-the-government

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2014/0107/Murder-of-former-Miss-Venezuela-spotlights-country-s-rampant-crime

    • Alex there are significant socio cultural issues which affect our inordinate violent crime rate , they have been identified and studied and they do exist , however if we had more competent law enforcement institutions the rate would be much lower, as those sociopaths most likely to engage in such type of crime would be either dead or in jail. Good crime prevention can CONTROL violent crime growth but it is only by attacking the socio cultural causes that can you prevent the PREDISPOSITION which is a very real part of the problem . Do note that what the govt has identified as the socio cultural causes of crime are totally off mark , or superficial and basically irrelevant . The syrupy lovey dovey solution they propose may please ignorant peoples sentimental conceits but they will do very little to stem the crime tide that engulfs us !!.

    • Apparently many Venezuelans think the national familiy structure severely deterrioated since 1999 and that the government in power since 1999 is not responsible for this.

      I apologize for being insulting, but WTF? How idiotic does one have to be to believe that?

      • Actually TV you have to be, not smart, but studious and alert to KNOW that familiy structure among the marginal population did increasingly deteriorate, not since 1999 , but gradually from the late 80’s early 90-s onward , its cummulative effects becoming more noticiable as the marginal population explosively rose during that period and after 99. In fact the Chavez regime might owe its existence to the way this deterioration in the human potential of marginals alllowed him to garnish their support during this period . There are many credible academic studies explaining this phenomenon and its consequences . This does not excuse Chavez failure to recognize the problem and at least try and confront it and its consequences , if anything he exploited it for his political advantage. The tremendous rise in criminal violence is at least one of the consequences of this deterioration , the other of course being Chavez total neglect , moreover his destruction of crime fighting institutions .which competent operation could have prevented it from happening. . . .

  4. ¡¿Bájale dos a la violencia?! Coño, you gotta be kidding me! So basically we should turn off the tap while brushing our teeth, turn off unused lights and try to murder less.

  5. Yes, having exhausted the denial approach, the two remaining key policy alternatives of the Bolivarian Revolution, suppression of civil rights and window dressing, are sure to play themselves out in some combination.

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