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.