Just to prove the US isn't the only place where governments seek to cure symptoms rather than diseases for political benefit, Venezuela's Interior Minister, Nestor Reverol, launched a campaign in Caracas to "disarm" citizens in an effort to curb rampant violence. Venezuela has the world's second highest murder rate which Reverol attributes, at least in part, to heavily armed gangs roaming the streets with guns that they apparently acquire from "corrupt" police officers. To address the violent crime issue, Venezueala has decided to chop up over 2,000 shotguns and pistols and laser tag ammunition as apparently the majority of ammunition used for violent crime in the country is manufactured by the state and "sold by corrupt police" as well. We're noticing a trend here. Per Reuters:
"We are going to bring disarmament and peace," Reverol told reporters, while police officers drilled and sawed at rusty shotguns, home made pistols and some newer weapons.
Other guns were crushed in truck-mounted presses. Some members of the public watched, although more danced to a nearby sound system playing salsa music.
Venezuela has also bought laser technology to mark ammunition, Reverol said, in an attempt to keep a registry of the bullets given out to the South American nation's many state and municipal police forces.
Experts say that much of the ammunition used in crimes in Venezuela is made at the country's government munitions factory and sold on by corrupt police.
There is no doubt that Venezuela has a serious violent crime issue with murders per capita, according to the non-governmental organization Venezuelan Violence Observatory, even eclipsing murder rates among 20-24 year old males in Chicago (see Soaring "Chicago Gun Violence Amid 'Toughest Gun Laws' Crushes Clinton Narrative For More 'Controls'"). (Following chart per Wikipedia).
To be sure, violent crime is even worse in Venezuela's capital city of Caracas which has the highest murder rate per capita in the world. (Following chart per Wikipedia).
But might we suggest that rising levels of violent crime might just have something to do with Venezuela's failed economic and social policies that have resulted in rampant inflation, severe food shortages and desperation among citizens to do whatever necessary to survive? (we've posted multiple time on this topic, see: "This Is What Hyperinflationary Collapse Looks Like" and "Scenes From The Venezuela Apocalypse: "Countless Wounded" After 5,000 Loot Supermarket Looking For Food"). Per our previous post:
To that end, Oscar Meza, Director of the Documentation Center for Social Analysis (Cendas-FVM), said that measurements of scarcity and inflation in May are going to be the worst to date. “We are officially declaring May as the month that [widespread] hunger began in Venezuela,” he told Web Noticias Venezuela. … “As for March, there was an increase in yearly prices due to inflation — a 582.9 percent increase for food, while the level of scarcity of basic products remains at 41.37 percent."
The is why, Español Ramón Muchacho, Mayor of Chacao in Caracas, said the streets of the capital of Venezuela are filled with people killing animals for food. "Muchacho reported that in Venezuela, it is a “painful reality” that people “hunt cats, dogs and pigeons” to ease their hunger."
But, no it probably is the guns that are to blame. Suggesting anything contrary might implicate the absolute failures of Venezuela's economic and social policies resulting in the long-anticipated ouster of Maduro.