Venezuela: Inseguridad acaba con la vida nocturna en Caracas

Los autos con las puertas abiertas, la música a todo volumen y los jóvenes que bailaban a un costado de sus vehículos, era algo común en la zona conocida como Las Mercedes, un punto de restaurantes y bares en Caracas, que bien podría tener su símil en la Condesa o la Zona Rosa, de la ciudad de México. Pero, poco a poco ese tipo de escenas han desaparecido. Aunque las luces neón siguen alumbrando la oscuridad, esa vida nocturna casi no existe. El motivo, aseguran los propietarios de los negocios: la inseguridad. Según la última encuesta del Instituto Venezolano de Análisis de Datos (IVAD), el 75 por ciento de la población considera la inseguridad como el principal problema. Algo que se refuerza con las cifras: 25 mil homicidios y 500 secuestros denunciados en un año, 528 robos violentos al día…VER MÁS…

Venezuela: Will Venezuela’s Citizen Security Reform Continue Despite Re-militarization? / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

January saw an accentuation of the progressive remilitarization of citizen security under the Maduro government, with military officers placed at the head of the National Security University (UNES) and the National Police (PNB). These changes amount to a setback to citizen security reforms that have attempted to separate the military and the police since 2008.

Nevertheless, there have been a number of security announcements made in the past few weeks that suggest citizen security reform is not dead.

At the end of January the government announced an initiative called “Intelligent Patrolling.” It divides hot spot municipalities into more manageable quadrants in order to allow police officers and the People’s Guard (a branch of the National Guard) to respond more quickly and efficiently to reports of crime and emergencies. Particular police units have been assigned to these quadrants and are given corresponding telephone numbers that residents in that area can call for police attention. The plan has been implemented in six municipalities in Caracas, deploying 3,700 officers to 158 quadrants. SEE MORE…

Venezuela tiene 5 de las 50 ciudades más violentas del mundo / Thabata Molina

Caracas pasó de ser la tercera a la segunda urbe más riesgosa, por su tasa de homicidios

Cinco de las 50 ciudades más violentas del mundo están en Venezuela, según el informe más reciente de la ONG mexicana Seguridad Justicia y Paz, que en su informe 2013 señala que Caracas se convirtió en la segunda urbe más riesgosa del mundo, gracias a su tasa de homicidio, la cual ubican en 134 por cada 100.000 habitantes. VER MÁS…

Venezuela: Capriles propone a Maduro lucha conjunta contra inseguridad pese a diferencia

El líder opositor y excandidato presidencial Henrique Capriles propuso al presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, dejar de lado las “profundas diferencias” que mantienen y trabajar unidos contra la inseguridad.

“Nicolás @NicolasMaduro te propongo poner a un lado nuestras profundas diferencias y unirnos contra la inseguridad, un solo bloque”, señaló en la red social Twitter el también gobernador del Estado Miranda, con jurisdicción sobre una amplia parte de Caracas.

Capriles no reconoce a Maduro como gobernante y lo tilda de “ilegítimo”, desde que denunció un fraude en su contra en las elecciones de hace ocho meses en las que perdió, lo cual no fue secundado por el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia al que acudió con su reclamo.

Maduro, a su vez, lo llama “asesino”, “fascista” y “parásito”, entre otros calificativos. VER MÁS…

Livro: “Para aonde vamos: Análises de Políticas Públicas de Segurança Cidadã na América Latina” / Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública

Por iniciativa do Programa para América Latina do Wilson Center (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), Carlos Basombrio, do Peru, organizou o livro “Para aonde vamos: Análises de Políticas Públicas de Segurança Cidadã na América Latina”, cuja edição brasileira foi co-editada pelo Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública.

O livro está sendo publicado em espanhol em vários países da Região e, no caso do Brasil, em português. A versão brasileira pode ser acessada gratuitamente no Link. 

Conteúdo do Livro:

México. Violência, forças armadas e combate ao crime organizado / Raúl Benítez Manaut

Guatemala: Antecipação à violência, além da prevenção em cenários de crime organizado e narcotráfico / Marco Castillo

Os serenazgos no Peru: A municipalização de fato da segurança pública: um modelo viável? / Gino Costa

Nicarágua: uma exceção na segurança da América Central / Elvira Cuadra Lira

Chile: Passar da narrativa à gestão efetiva / Lucía Dammert

Segurança pública e redução de crimes violentos no Brasil: êxitos gerenciais e mudanças institucionais / Renato Sérgio de Lima / Liana de Paula

Colômbia: Sucessos e lendas dos “modelos” de segurança dos cidadãos:  casos de Bogotá e Medellín / María Victoria Llorente / Sergio Guarín León

Que impacto tem a reforma processual penal na segurança cidadã? / Luis Pásara

Crime organizado e gangues: o nó cego salvadorenho / César Rivera

A oscilação: Os vaivéns da reforma do setor de segurança na Argentina atual / Marcelo Fabián Sain

A crítica situação da (in)segurança na Venezuela: características, causalidades, políticas e desafios / Ana María Sanjuán MAIS…

Police Reform on a Political Tightrope: Citizen Security and Public Perceptions, part 3 / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

In our previous posts in this series we aimed to understand the difficulties confronted by police reform in Venezuela. We showed that most Venezuelans do not blame the government or ineffective policing for Venezuela’s crime surge in recent years, and are more likely to point to social and cultural causes.

We also showed that people think “improving family values” would be more effective in fighting crime than any other measure. Nevertheless, we did find considerable support for professionalization of police forces, much more than for the deployment of military forces.

In this post we look at how Venezuelans evaluate the security reforms that have been put in place by the government, including human rights oriented police tactics. SEE MORE…

What Should Be Done to Reduce Crime in Venezuela? Citizen Security and Public Perceptions, part 2 / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

In our previous post we asked who gets the blame for crime in Venezuela. In this one we ask what Venezuelans think can be done to reduce that crime. Since 2008 the Chávez and now Maduro governments have Increasingly taken on the issue of crime, often in quite contradictory ways. Here we look at if and how these strategies resonate with citizens’ opinions.

To do so we added a question to Datanalisis’ July- August Omnibus survey that asked respondents what they thought would reduce crime. The question provided respondents with a list of measures (improving the values taught to children by the family; decreasing poverty and social inequality; professionalizing police officers; reforming the judicial and penal systems; a permanent deployment of military in sectors with high rates of crime; improving access to sports and cultural activities; and improving access to public space) and asked them to rank the three most important in fighting crime. SEE MORE…

 

Venezuela: Los traficantes que usan uniforme militar / José Luis Pardo y Alejandra S. Inzunza

En Venezuela los narcotraficantes visten ropa de camuflaje. En la frontera de ese país con Colombia las guerrillas colombianas y venezolanas, y el Ejército, pelean por el control del tráfico de droga. Militares de alta graduación han sido denunciados por su vínculo con el tráfico de estupefacientes, pero ninguno ha sido condenado gracias a los vínculos que tenían con el expresidente Hugo Chávez.  VER MÁS…

Venezuela: What Should Be Done to Reduce Crime? Citizen Security and Public Perceptions, part 2 / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

In our previous post we asked who gets the blame for crime in Venezuela. In this one we ask what Venezuelans think can be done to reduce that crime. Since 2008 the Chávez and now Maduro governments have increasingly taken on the issue of crime, often in quite contradictory ways. Here we look at if and how these strategies resonate with citizens’ opinions. To do so we added a question to Datanalisis’ July-August Omnibus survey that asked respondents what they thought would reduce crime. The question provided respondents with a list of measures (improving the values taught to children by the family; decreasing poverty and social inequality; professionalizing police officers; reforming the judicial and penal systems; a permanent deployment of military in sectors with high rates of crime; improving access to sports and cultural activities; and improving access to public space) and asked them to rank the three most important in fighting crime. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Who Gets the Blame for Crime? Citizen Security and Public Perceptions, part I / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

In the first half of this year we ran a series describing Venezuela’s comprehensive efforts at citizen security reform. We have also traced the process over the past six months, whereby the civilian character of this reform has lost out in favor of militarized policing strategies. In the coming months we are going to run a series on public perceptions of citizen security in order to shed light on why reform has been so difficult to implement. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Policía comunal y seguridad / Laura Roldán Benítez

La participación ciudadana en conjunto con la policía comunal es esencial para disminuir la violencia

Toda persona tiene derecho a la protección por parte del Estado a través de los órganos de seguridad ciudadana regulados por ley, frente a situaciones que constituyan amenazas, vulnerabilidad o riesgo para la integridad física de las personas, sus propiedades, el disfrute de sus derechos y el cumplimiento de sus deberes. La participación de los ciudadanos y ciudadanas en los programas destinados a la prevención, seguridad ciudadana y administración de emergencias será regulada por una ley especial (… )”. Art. 55 CRBV. Está claro que tenemos el deber como ciudadanas y ciudadanos de participar activamente en la prevención del delito. Como sociedad civil tenemos derechos y obligaciones que cumplir en los asuntos públicos, los cuales se ejercen corresponsablemente con el Estado. VER MÁS…

Venezuela: Citizen Security Reform: Gun Control / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

Last month President Nicolas Maduro signed into law a disarmament bill that has gone under various revisions within the National Assembly since 2010. The law signifies an important attempt by the Venezuelan government and legislature to control the flow of arms in the country. In this post we look at the evolution of the law, the conflicts that the law has produced (both between the opposition and the government and within Chavista ranks), and provide a summary of the law’s main points.

Although there are no reliable figures on the number of guns in circulation in Venezuela (estimates range from one million to six million) their circulation was for the most part unregulated until last year. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Gun Control Reform: Reactions and Criticisms / Rebecca Hanson

Though described by many as an important step forward in curbing violence, the gun reform law passed in June came under criticism and scrutiny right out of the gate by opposition members, government supporters, and even police officers. While the opposition’s criticism has tended to focus on the government’s lack of political will in implementing the law, others worry that the law does not “fit into” the current Venezuelan context where the previous unrestricted flow of arms makes self-defense appear an unfortunate necessity.

In an op-ed to El Universal, Luis Izquiel—the coordinator of the MUD’s citizen security commission—said that for the law to have any impact that the government must “stop with the double discourse.” By this he was referring to the government’s support for disarmament alongside their complicated relations to radical and sometimes armed collectives in popular sectors of Caracas (see *Ciccariello-Maher, 2013 and **Velasco, 2011). For Izquiel, “It is contradictory to speak in the morning of disarmament and in the afternoon propose creating workers militias.” He also called for an end to the collectives and their use of arms as well as the “violent discourse emitted from those in power.” Various other commentators have pointed to the contradictory stance of both the Chávez and now Maduro governments on revolutionary armed citizens or “parapolicing” groups.  SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Plan Patria Segura: a Predictable Failure* /Verónica Zubillaga and Andrés Antillano

We Venezuelans now live in militarized cities. First came the Bicentennial Security Force (Dispositivo Bicentenario de Seguridad (DIBISE)), in effect since 2010 with expressed goal of reducing crime rates. Now a new initiative the Secure Homeland Plan (Plan Patria Segura) has been activated. This text is an indictment of militarized citizen security plans (see previous critique here) and an appeal for alternative policies. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: To avoid crime, Venezuelans run together

Aldana, who has been robbed four times on the street, said it’s enough to make Venezuelans want to shut themselves indoors.

“We Venezuelans have always been very creative,” said Claudia Sucre, who was once kidnapped but managed fool her abductors into thinking she wasn’t affluent. “We’ve reinvented things so we can live our lives feeling like we’re in a safe place, so as to not lose our enthusiasm.”

So young people invited to parties take their pajamas, staying over to sleep once festivities end and avoid the lonely drive home at night, when they could be kidnapped. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Seguridad y desarme: agenda pendiente / Pablo Fernández Blanco

Agilizar la adquisición de la maquinaria con tecnología para el marcaje láser de municiones.

La política de control de armas que se viene gestando y ejecutando desde el año 2011, bajo la batuta del expresidente Chávez y retomada por el presidente Maduro desde el inicio de su gestión, ha reportado avances importantes y positivos que nos orientan por el buen camino en esta materia. Valga a modo de ejemplo el número de armas incautadas y destruidas en estos dos últimos años (que superan las 180 mil), los controles al mercado de armas y municiones para particulares (que muestran sus resultados positivos en la afectación del mercado ilegal) o los incipientes resultados en la generación de condiciones para ir a procesos de desarme voluntario de bandas armadas juveniles (tema que era impensable hace muy pocos años atrás). VER MÁS…

 

Venezuela: On the Inside: Venezuela’s Most Dangerous Prison / Sebastián Liste—Reportage by Getty for TIME

His name is Wilmer Brizuela, Wilmito to his friends, but to the inmates of Vista Hermosa, he is simply the Pran, the unquestioned leader of one of Venezuela’s notorious prisons. Outside its walls, the Venezuelan national guard patrols; inside, the inmates live and die in a world of their own making. Brizuela has occasionally allowed reporters to visit for a few hours, but earlier this year, he gave photojournalist Sebastián Liste and me exclusive, full access to the prison for more than a week, revealing an improvised society that mirrors the one outside.

Brizuela, who is serving sentences of 10 years for kidnapping and 16 years for murder, believes that his rule over the 1,400 inmates of Vista Hermosa (Beautiful View) in the southern state of Bolívar is more humane than that of the Venezuelan prison authorities, who have been widely criticized by human-rights groups for the overcrowding, poor living conditions and corruption in the country’s prisons. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Plan “Patria Segura”

Este lunes, el Gobierno nacional puso en marcha su plan de seguridad número 20. Ahora se llama “Patria Segura” e incorpora funcionarios de la Guardia Nacional y del Ejército.

En el acto de juramentación, realizado este lunes en el patio de la Academia Militar, el presidente Nicolás Maduro admitió que el principal problema que aqueja a la ciudadanía es la inseguridad. “Asumimos este compromiso hace unos pocos días, el de construir una patria segura”, prometió.

Más temprano, antes de que comenzara la transmisión en cadena nacional, el ministro de Interior, Justicia y Paz, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, declaró que el nuevo plan contará con tres mil funcionarios, entre efectivos de la Policía del Municipio Libertador, Policía Nacional, Ejército (con la Policía Militar), Guardia Nacional y Sebin. De esos, 2.000 irán para Petare; el resto queda dividido entre Antímano, Baruta, El Recreo, Valle y Coche y una parte de Catia, pues en este último sector ya hay 1.600 funcionarios de la Policía Nacional. VER MÁS…

Venezuela launches massive street security operation

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has launched a massive security plan aimed at curbing street crime.

Under operation “Safe Homeland”, 3,000 soldiers will patrol the streets of the capital Caracas and other cities. President Maduro said the plan would bring peace to Venezuela, which has one of the highest homicide rates in South America. The opposition has long criticised the government’s record on crime, and used it as a campaign issue in recent polls. The government says more than 16,000 people were killed in crimes in 2012, a rate of 54 per 100,000. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Ejército combatirá el crimen

El ministro del Interior y Justicia, Miguel Rodríguez, informó que las fuerzas armadas se unirán a la Guardia Nacional para luchar contra la delincuencia

El gobierno venezolano emplazará a las fuerzas armadas para combatir la delincuencia que azota a Venezuela, anunció el domingo el ministro del Interior y Justicia, lo que generó preocupaciones entre los activistas que han advertido que esa iniciativa podría llevar a violaciones de los derechos humanos.

El ministro Miguel Rodríguez señaló que personal del Ejército, la Marina y la Fuerza Aérea se unirá a las tropas de la Guardia Nacional como parte de una iniciativa próxima de lucha contra la delincuencia. VER MÁS…

Venezuela: La inseguridad, tema central de campaña / Marie Delcas

La inseguridad es la invitada de honor en la campaña electoral de Venezuela. Nicolás Maduro, presidente provisional y candidato por el Partido Socialista Unificado de Venezuela, prometió hacer del problema “el gran tema de los próximos años”, “la prioridad de toda su acción a la cabeza del gobierno”.

El candidato de la oposición, Henrique Capriles Radonski, no ha dejado de señalar el desastroso saldo en la materia del presidente Hugo Chávez, fallecido el 5 de marzo pasado. Capriles se presenta como “la solución”. Venezuela se ha convertido en el país más peligroso del mundo, después de Honduras. VER MÁS…

Venezuela: Citizen Security Reform, Part 4: “Great Mission Full Life Venezuela” / David Smilde and Rebecca Hanson

Even the presidential campaign cannot keep crime and violence out of the news in Venezuela. Last week the Venezuelan government announced that the country—already ranked as the second most dangerous country in the region (trailing Honduras alone)—saw a 14% increase in homicides between 2011 and 2012. The situation has quite reasonably become one of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles’s key criticisms of the government. Nicolas Maduro, in turn, has said he “will assume the crime problem as something personal.” He has also announced some new initiatives, including the Peace and Life Movement (which we will look at in a future post). SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Citizen Security Reform, part 3: Tension Between Policing Models / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

The two murals above adorn the walls of the police station of Portugesa’s state police force, succinctly capturing the current juxtaposition of two very different models of security in Venezuela. The first mural encapsulates well the traditional model of policing in the country, with its gun toting, special operations image of citizen security. The second mural, a much more recent image added to the station walls that is adapted from the General Police Council’s training manuals, symbolizes the move toward differential and progressive use of force, with an emphasis on dialogue rather than force as a primary response.

If “humanist-oriented” police reform in Venezuela is able to convince citizens, police officers, and politicians that security is not achieved exclusively by state use of violence, Venezuela could well turn into one of the most successful cases of progressive police reform in the region. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Citizen Security Reform, part 2: The National Security University /Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

The mural above—dedicated to the victims of police abuse—adorns a main wall of the new civilian-run policing university in Caracas, carrying with it a quote by Raquel Aristimuño, whose son was killed by the police here in 1992. The mural serves as a reminder of the violent and abusive history that the police must overcome if they are to convince Venezuelans that security forces are no longer “criminals in uniform” (malandros uniformados).

Before the passage of the 2008 Organic Law of the Police Service and of the National Police Body, police training was left in the hands of the National Guard, which resulted in little differentiation between tactics utilized by the military and the police. VER MÁS…

Venezuela: La violencia será tema prioritario de campaña

Por encima de la disminución en la calidad de vida, el creciente índice de robos y homicidios podría definir la contienda electoral.

El tema de la violencia social en Venezuela, que por años fue puesto de lado por el Gobierno del fallecido presidente Hugo Chávez para priorizar sus programas sociales, está hoy en el centro de las campañas electorales del presidente interino y candidato oficialista, Nicolás Maduro, y del aspirante por la oposición, Henrique Capriles.

Para Maduro, se ha convertido en pocos días en la piedra en el zapato tras adquirir una mayor dimensión mediática y una importancia sin antecedentes en la agenda de la opinión pública, por lo que en sus últimos discursos abundan los llamados a frenar los actos violentos. VER MÁS…

Venezuela: Gobierno propone cronograma de trabajo en municipios con mayor criminalidad

El presidente de la República, Nicolás Maduro, propuso este lunes crear un cronograma de trabajo para atacar principalmente los 79 municipios del país que presentan mayor criminalidad en el país.

Maduro hizo referencia al anuncio que realizó el sábado sobre la creación del Movimiento por la Paz y la Vida, a fin de promover territorios de paz en el todo el país y vencer la criminalidad y la violencia heredadas del capitalismo.

Este Movimiento estará conformado por diversos colectivos sociales, juveniles, deportistas y culturales, que impulsen actividades para prevenir la criminalidad, e instó a todos los colectivos existentes en el país a sumarse a esta iniciativa. VER MÁS…

Venezuela Election Rivals Clash Over Crime

Moments after he registered to run in Venezuela’s April 14 election, acting President Nicolas Maduro vowed to go on foot, unarmed, into the toughest slums of Caracas and ask the gangs there to lay down their guns.

Maduro and his opponent, Henrique Capriles, have clashed over a top campaign issue: the daily murders, armed robberies and kidnappings that make the South American country one of the most dangerous in the world.

“We’ll go like this, with our chests bare!” Maduro cried at the campaign event, driving the crowd wild as he pulled open his Venezuelan-flag tracksuit top to reveal a red T-shirt emblazoned with the eyes of his late boss, Hugo Chavez. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Citizen Security Reform, part 2: The National Security University / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

Before the passage of the 2008 Organic Law of the Police Service and of the National Police Body, police training was left in the hands of the National Guard, which resulted in little differentiation between tactics utilized by the military and the police. Police officers trained according to a military model of security have tended to view civilians (especially young males from the lower classes) as a suspicious enemy to be subdued, a mentality that has led to thousands of civilian deaths at the hands of the police each year. Indeed, homicide rates in Venezuela would be around 20% higher if the killings carried out by police officers—listed under “resistance to authority”— were counted as homicides. According to Provea, 3,492 killings in 2010 were placed in this category, which would represent an almost 300% increase from the early 2000s. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: Citizen Security Reform, part 1: Police Reform / Rebecca Hanson and David Smilde

Since 2009 the Chávez government has carried forward a comprehensive police reform that has created a new National Bolivarian Police (Policía Nacional Bolivariana, PNB), a new police university, and a new General Police Council (Consejo General de Policía, CGP) that oversees the reform’s implementation.

A sustained look at the Venezuelan police system began in 2006, after a high-profile kidnapping case that involved both active and retired officers from the former Metropolitan Police and ended in the death of three boys from a wealthy Caraqueño family as well as their chauffer. SEE MORE…

Venezuela: A riot at a prison left 50 people dead and dozens injured

CNN affiliate Globovision reported, the latest in a series of violent incidents in the nation’s crowded detention system.

Clashes erupted Friday after local media reported about a planned operation to disarm prisoners at the facility in Uribana, the prison ministry said in a statement.
Venezuela’s top prison official said national guard troops entering the prison were met with violence.
The troops went in to disarm inmates in what has become a notoriously violent prison, according to Iris Varela, Venezuela’s prison minister. SEE MORE…

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