Venezuela kidnappers are now demanding ransom payments in US dollars rather than the local currency, according to a new report, revealing how even criminal groups are not immune to the country's deepening economic crisis.
Venezuelan authorities celebrated the death of the country's most wanted criminal at the hands of law enforcement this month but the killing of the gang leader known as El Picure appears to be more the result of a police vendetta than a concerted effort to rein in organized crime.
The death of a gang leader allegedly responsible for the massacre of over a dozen gold miners in Venezuela represents a step forward for the official investigation. However, there is still much to be done in terms of re-establishing state control over the country's lawless gold mining region.
Newly released homicide statistics show violence continues to rise in Venezuela almost a year after the government launched a hardline campaign to break the grip of criminal organizations and end the country's security crisis.