Your September 4 article, “In Venezuela, killings of Caracas police are on rise,” primarily focuses on Venezuela’s climbing crime rate, emphasizing the fear felt by the country’s population, along with Chavez’s failure to implement a successful way to deter the violence. However, your article unfairly fails to acknowledge a forceful cause underlying what drives the rate of the country’s violent crime. In the first place, you article blames Chavez and then remembers that a sorrowing crime rate existed even prior to the Chavez presidency.
In fact, there are a number of things that have created Venezuela’s increased crime rate. While the country’s economic situation deserves primary responsibility for the mounting crime, dwindling resources, crumbling infrastructure and a rising unemployment rate justify Chavez’s claim that recent spikes in crime also can be seen throughout Latin America. Despite his attempts to stabilize Venezuela’s economy, it is of deep concern to many Chavistas who fear that President Chavez’s failure to deter the crime rate, even minutely, could ultimately cost him the upcoming presidential election. Venezuelan voters may find it difficult to decide whether Chavez or the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles, presents a better solution to coping with the crime rate. However, let’s not blame Chavez alone for a rise in violence that would have existed regardless of his policies, due to the fact that the same frightening challenges that bedevil all of Latin America.
Gervasio Sapriza, Research Associate at Council on Hemispheric Affairs
In response to the Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-venezuela-cops-20120904,0,4012784.story
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