A matter of cops and death

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A small group of police officers and relatives protest against violent killings in Caracas.

How bad does the security situation have to be in a country for the cops themselves to go out to protest… because they don’t feel safe on the job?

Bad. Really bad.

In Miranda State and Caracas alone, 45 police officers have been killed in 2015 so far.

Nationwide, according to NGO Due Process Foundation (FUNDEPRO), at least 105 members of the security forces (military or police) have been killed by mid-April. 78 of them were cops.

To be sure, cops getting killed in numbers in Venezuela isn’t quite new, but not at this rate.

This recent dispatch from Spanish press agency EFE focuses not only on the recent casualties, but on the reasons which fueled it: Criminals kill cops not just to grab their weapons, but also for the street cred it brings.

Over the weekend, members of several police forces called up on the social networks for a public protest against the killings and published a written statement under the name “Venezuelan Police Family”.

The protest came and went without incident in the Cota Mil Highway, but only gathered a small group of people (none of them in uniform). Their main demand is for an urgent meeting of all police forces with the central government and with other branches of the State.

Almost at the same time, the newly appointed Interior and Justice Minister Gustavo López González addressed the issue on his twitter account. He called the recent killings “part of a perverse plan” and blamed what he considers as “paramilitarism “, pointing out at Miranda State Government and three of its municipalities (Baruta, Chacao and Sucre a.k.a. Petare), which happen to be governed by the opposition.

López González took office just last month after he was named as one of the seven Venezuelan officials sanctioned by the U.S. government. Previously, he was in charge of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) for more than a year.

Did the protest fail, given the poor turnout? Taking in consideration that it was called only a few hours only on the Internet, taking place a national holiday in a highway closed to all traffic on Sundays, perhaps it tried to be low-key or the modest expectations were just too high. Still, the organizers don’t lose hope that their message will get through. But given the Interior Minister’s response, perhaps the message will get lost even before it reaches the authorities.

1 COMMENT

    • I guess the only good thing to say is that honest cops are likely in the minority. Human Rights Watch claims that the “police commit one of every five crimes” in Venezuela and that thousands of people have been killed by police officers acting with impunity (only 3% of officers have been charged in cases against them). The Metropolitan Police force in Caracas was so corrupt that it was disbanded and were even accused of assisting some 17,000 kidnappings. It is no wonder that since crime is the number one concern of Venezuelans and cops are either corrupt or completely ineffective that all you can say is that you reap what you sow. I do feel sorry for any human being who is killed for trying to do the right thing. But many of these cops killings are reprisal for the brutal treatment they are handing out at the behest of the thugs who are running the country. We will eventually hear the age old flaccid defense that ” I was just following orders” while living in a million dollar home on a paltry civil servants salary. Nice watch on your wrist officer!

  1. Earlier today I read what Lopez Gonzalez declared. In my list he tops the list of Chavistas guffaws. Making political hay out of dead policemen???

    This guy holds the triggers for the government and he is a hack!

  2. LOL at cops protesting.

    Not even a bit of pity for them. How ironic that they killed and tortured kids who protested for a change. Change that, if were to be done yesterday, would allow these killed cops to live today.

    Dear cops: reap what you sow since Maduro took power. You deserve it.

    • This comment is grossly unfair. Municipal police in Chacao or Sucre were not responsible for the human rights violations. Some of them might have been, but to say that these folks deserved it is just plain heartless.

  3. There was a recent interview to Alejandro Moreno , the one true expert at explaining the changing patterns of crime inside the barrios , he says that there are three circles of crime , the pros who are just a bunch of barrio kids who put it together , between 20 to 25 years of age , 75% of which lose their lives by that age , the apprentices 15 to 20 years of age who want to get into the band by performing barbarous acts of murder and who being so young lack the capacity for restraint and self control of the hardened criminal and then the younger kids who just collaborate at the fringes , from 11 to 14 years of age . The fact that the crimes now involve kids who are so young , who are impulsive and insensitive to what they are doing and even derive some pride from being grown up enough for doing it is to him a very worrisome sign. he believes that the increased savagery of the crimes is the result of this change in the average age of the barrio criminals

    The police might form part of the fully organized gangs that sit on top of the pyramid but are not necessaritly part of the barrio scene , policemen who to make money might just allow the barrio kids access to guns on ocassion but who recently have been restricted by the govt from allowing kids as many guns as they used to .

    This has created a ‘shortage’ of guns which the barrio gangs is making up for by going after isolated policemen to kill them and take their guns . The increase in policemen killings may be a sign of the interior ministrys partial success at trying to curtail the distribution of guns to barrio gangs. !!

  4. Does anyone in Venezuela really believe that one becomes a cop to protect people and prevent crime? The reason is to share in the spoils of bribing people and actually committing the crimes. Criminals killing other criminals….that’s all.

  5. The most influential thinker in todays Venezuela , the one whose advise is most carefully studied and followed by govt bigwigs is not marx or engels or mao , its Dr Goebbles , it is he who wrote the manual for wannabe dictators who want to brainwash an oppressed people and keep themselves popular despite all their misdeeds and failures. !! the regime ought to build him a statue or name some street after him.

  6. Criminals are chavismo’s main instrument of domination against the people, anybody who still insists on denying this is either blind or is collaborating with said plan.

    And as their precious main weapon of mass destruction against society, any ideas regarding its control and dismantling will always be seen as “fascist monstrosities” by those who harness power today.

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