Candidates Capriles (left) and Maduro are talking security

Venezuela's interim president and socialist party presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro has blamed the country's crime and violence problems on capitalism, and his rival Henrique Capriles led a march calling for improved security, as the country's security issues increasingly come to the fore in the presidential campaign.

United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidate Maduro echoed his predecessor, the recently deceased Hugo Chavez, in blaming the country's endemic violence on the "legacy of capitalism," and pledged to create a Venezuela, "without violence, without crime," if elected April 14.

Maduro also stated that a new disarmament plan will soon be approved, and that various armed groups have responded to calls by his government to lay down their weapons, reported Pagina 12

Meanwhile, opposition leader Capriles led a political march in Caracas and 17 Venezuelan states, demanding security and an end to violence.

On April 1, Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol announced that 3,400 homicides have occurred in Venezuela since January 1, with 545 occurring in Miranda state, where Capriles is currently governor.

InSight Crime Analysis

The fact that both candidates are openly discussing Venezuela's security problems marks a significant change in the country's political discourse. While the homicide rate has dramatically risen since Chavez came to power in 1998, the problem was rarely directly addressed by the Chavez administration. In the past, even Chavez's opponents have been reluctant to make it a primary focus.

For his part, Chavez was so agile politically, that he could sidestep or blame it on someone else. Maduro, who is expected to win the upcoming elections handily, does not have the same agility or charisma as his predecessor, and he may find that blaming capitalism will be a short-term solution. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
Prev Next

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

Special Agent David LeValley headed the criminal division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Washington office until last November 8. While in office, he witnessed the rise of the MS13, the Barrio 18 (18th Street) and other smaller gangs in the District of Columbia as well...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

Local police and justice officials are convinced that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) has strengthened its presence along the East Coast of the United States. The alarm follows a recent spate of violence -- of the type not seen in a decade -- which included dismembered bodies and...

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation, journalist Carlos García tells the story of how a member of the MS13 entered the methamphetamine distribution business under the powerful auspices...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Former Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla -- a decorated war hero and a longtime US ally -- finds himself treading water amidst a flurry of accusations about corruption and his connections to drug traffickers. López Bonilla is not the most well-known suspect in the cases against...