Peace zones are totally dope (for criminal gangs)

“Cruisin’ down the street in our peace zone. Scarin’ locals, shootin’ the cops”

On Friday night, the motorcade of Sports Minister Pedro Infante was apparently attacked by criminals in the Cota 905. The minister’s eight bodyguards handled the situation, taking cover in a nearby police station until SEBIN reinforcements came to his help.

And that was only the start of a bloody and brutal weekend.

After a huge gunfight on June 10th, violence in this part of Western Caracas has made quite a few headlines this month. But for its residents it’s just part of their everyday routine. They’re used to it.

One last bit: the Cota 905 is one of the misnamed “peace zones”. For what I’ve learned about these officially acknowledged no-go zones for the security forces (and I’ve followed this issue right from the start), seem to be generating more violence than people quite grasp. They’re just lawless liberated areas, where gangbangers rule.

And that’s confirmed by’ excellent report on the topic, which came out last week. Congratulations to journalist Ronna Risquez for doing a complete description of how the Venezuelan State gave to criminal gangs full control of certain parts of the capital Caracas or next-door Miranda State, like in the Tuy Valley. I would spoil some more of the article, but I prefer recommending all of you to read it.

This problem has even called the attention of the UN’s Human Rights Council, which wants to know more about Venezuela’s crime epidemic. I doubt that they will be convinced by the latest excuse from PSUV MP Elvis Amoroso.

Even if the central government (through an unnamed source) knows how bad the peace zones have turned out, they insist in keeping them. Days ago, the Vice-Ministry of Peace Affairs was created and in charge of it, no other than the “peace czar” himself, Jose Vicente Rangel Avalos. Funny that he denied the peace zones’ existence early this year.