Wave of Violent Crime Sweeps Venezuela

Wave of Violent Crime Sweeps Venezuela
April 21st, 2006  

Topic: Wave of Violent Crime Sweeps Venezuela

Wave of Violent Crime Sweeps Venezuela
Physician, heal thyself. Maybe the US is needed in Venezuela, to save it from itself.


"CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Victims reach the emergency room soaked in blood and dazed - wheeled in on stretchers, carried in people's arms, some still walking with the last of their strength. An elderly man shot in a robbery, a young man sprayed with gunfire, a woman who took a stray bullet in the head while on her way to church.
Venezuela is among the most violent places in Latin America, and critics of President Hugo Chavez are increasingly accusing him of failing to make crime a priority.
The government says it is making progress on the problem, but a series of particularly heinous murders sparked protests earlier this month by people demanding safer streets, and more rallies are planned for Saturday. While crime has long bedeviled Venezuelans, particularly the poor, some protesters say there's a new element to the danger now - class tensions incited by Chavez himself.

An underlying cause of the violence is the stark gap between rich and poor, which remains despite Chavez's talk of bringing equality, said Jonathan Jakubowicz, director of the acclaimed film "Secuestro Express," or "Express Kidnapping," which is set in Caracas.
"Chavez didn't invent the class tension; he just gave it a flag and made it a political movement," said the 28-year-old Venezuelan filmmaker. "I just hope at some point in the next few decades he is forced to control the violence, for the sake of all of us."

April 21st, 2006  
Damn it all.