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…

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