"Lynching Epidemic" Breaks Out In Venezuela

The public-safety infrastructure in Venezuela has been degraded to such a degree that citizens now take justice into their own hands. Agence France Presse reported that lynchings have risen sharply over the last year and a half as political and economic instability in the crumbling socialist republic has worsened. Witnesses who spoke to AFP said a 22-year-old man who was set on fire at an anti-government demonstration in May was actually lynched after being accused of stealing by the crowd - not because he was a government sympathizer, as President Nicolas Maduro had suggested at the time.

As AFP alleges, "it is not just the country's economy and political system that are sick, but society itself, experts say. An epidemic of lynchings is one of the most gruesome symptoms."

The OVCS says some 60 people were recorded as killed in lynchings in the first five months of this year alone. Last year there were 126 such killings -- a surge from the 20 reported in the previous year, coinciding with the worsening of political tensions and economic chaos.

"Their aim is to kill the person before the police arrive," says Marco Ponce, coordinator of the Venezuelan Social Conflict Observatory (OVCS).

 

"In lynchings, citizens let out their anger in the face of a state that is not defending their right to justice," says Ponce.

 

"They think they are dispensing justice, and they do so with anger, so they go as far as killing the person."

Residents blame the breakdown in social order that’s resulted from Venezuela’s worsening economic crisis. In the capital Caracas, the army and police are focused on brutally suppressing the street protests that have become a daily occurrence in recent months. Meanwhile, the dire financial straits of the country’s residents, who are struggling with inflation rates as high as 10,000%, have caused crime to skyrocket.

AFP journalists witness one incident on a street in Caracas where a mob attacked a man after passers-by caught him stealing.

Swearing in fury, the crowd strips the man naked and stomps on his head as he sprawls on the ground.

"You want things that come easy? Then take this, you bastard."

A witness says he stopped the man who had tried to rob a woman at gunpoint in a bakery. Then the mob took over.

"You're lucky we didn't burn you," a voice yells, as police lug the man, limp but still breathing, into the back of their car.

 

The crowd yells in satisfaction -- but not at the man's arrest. They think they are the ones who have done justice here.
 

One Caracas resident, Damaso Velasquez, described taking part in a lynching. He argued that the mob must dole out street justice because the police don’t do enough to hold criminals accountable.

"I didn't feel pity for that person because I knew he was a criminal," he tells AFP.

 

"I felt rage and hatred towards that person... I saw him committing a robbery. That makes you feel furious, so whatever happens to him, it's alright," he goes on.

 

"The government grabs him, puts him in jail and then they let him go again. There is disorder here in Caracas -- starting with the government."

 

“People feel that the state is not protecting them, so they opt to defend themselves," says Freddy Crespo, a criminologist at the University of the Andes.

 

"Their fear turns into anger."

Venezuela now has one of the highest annual murder rates in the world -- 70 for every 100,000 inhabitants in 2016. Yet only about six crimes out of every 100 here result in a sentence. Still, at least one Venezuelan felt the need to speak out against the brutality.

"The state is supposed to provide you with civil and judicial security, which we are totally lacking," says one Caracas resident, Maria Hernandez.


"But I don't think it is just for me to come and kill or burn you just because you have robbed," she adds.


"That way I would turn into someone more barbaric than you."

From 'socialist utopia' to Mad Max in a few short years... any thoughts now Bernie?

Comments

Blankone Jim Sampson Fri, 06/16/2017 - 19:13 Permalink

Do you people think they will walk up and tell you they wish to fight or are about to do you harm?

How do you defend against this. A mob is making noise and "protesting" and you are intermingled. Then you are stabbed with a large knife in the right areas. Or, a mob has stopped traffic, they walk by you window, one shatters it and as you are tying to get the glass off your face another throws a large cup of gas on you and another throws a match.

Or you are walking along and some people are walking by or up to pass you. How many ways can they mortally wound you before you can stop anything.

You've gotta come out alone sometime.

In reply to by Jim Sampson

GUS100CORRINA Nekoti Fri, 06/16/2017 - 19:03 Permalink

WOW ... COMPLETE AND UTTER ANARCHY!!!====In a society where all lies, all deceptions, all corruptions are accepted, that society will lose control of everything. Chaos will begin to take over, and the only way that chaos will be slowed down will be when dictatorial control, or maybe even a police state is formed, where thought and behavior is fixed, and anybody out of bounds is punished. Eventually, the chaos has to be controlled. We’re not headed toward socialism; we could very well be headed toward a dictatorship in our world. Is this hard to grasp?

In reply to by Nekoti

lucitanian GUS100CORRINA Fri, 06/16/2017 - 19:30 Permalink

No, they, the PTB will have you begging for the dictatorship, even a global dictatorship. Fear is their strongest tool and they can easily publicize that. Venezuela is just a test case as Argentina was. They, the PTB will have you behaving exactly in the same way tomorrow in the US when they decide the time is right, as long as you think in terms of left Vs. right. They will always give you the others to blame. Once it starts it doesn't matter who started it, it's allows them to finish it with their total control, as long as they stay behind the curtain.Wake up! 

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

lucitanian wee-weed up Fri, 06/16/2017 - 19:14 Permalink

Left or right, it doesn't matter, If you see someone to blame you are always wrong. It's designed and orchestrated. This is where the US is headed with their indoctrination, MSM, and Hollywood movies of good guys and bad guys. The harder it gets the easier it is to bend the minds of some, to find a group to blame. Wake up!You are all good guys!Start to see the the desperation in others, and learn the compassion in yourself.

In reply to by wee-weed up

Kokito serotonindumptruck Fri, 06/16/2017 - 22:02 Permalink

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It amazes me how this ragtag fascist-far-right website always managed to find some anti-chavista like Alexander Martinez, who works for AFP, a French government news agency that is controlled by the prime minister, minister of finance, and by the minister of foreign affairs who approve the public funding allocated to them.   Now that the neo-liberal corrupt baker Macron has taken power in Fence, AFP is at the forefront of pushing through business-friendly reforms & privatization. No surprise here why AFP is trying to denigrate & destabilize the Venezuelan’s government with fake news and propaganda.   The case of Orlado Figuera, who was able to survive for 14 days in the hospital, is well documented by his own testimony, and the testimony of his mother and father. It was clear a hate & racist crime (he was balck) and even CNN classified his death as victim of far-right-fascios group. Google “Maduro: Orlando Figuera fue víctima del fascismo - CNN Video”   The anti-chavista Alexander Martinez is rehashing old news with a new twist, trying to please his neo-liberal boss in France & denigrating Venezuela in order to destabilize the Venezuelan government. Here are 2 articles by RT that will explain the real story about Orlado Figuera: Google "El caso de Orlando Figuera es el símbolo del crimen de odio en Venezuela" Muere Orlando Figuera, el joven quemado por opositores en Venezuela” (FOTOS). Alexander Martinez go fuck yourself, you stupid shit.

In reply to by serotonindumptruck

land_of_the_few Kokito Sat, 06/17/2017 - 07:02 Permalink

Here is a video of the "opposition" "protesters" trying to bash the obviously badly burned black guy with their metal rioting shields while others try to save him:https://twitter.com/cmorlesVEN/status/866090803936022530/video/1‘They told me to die & threw a Molotov at me’ – protester on Venezuela riotshttps://www.rt.com/news/389579-venezuela-protester-burnt-alive/A government supporter set on fire during opposition riots in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, is in a coma suffering from severe burns and stab wounds, his doctor told RT. Another man was also injured by rioters who were apparently trying to kill him.Gruesome footage of a man named Orlando Figuera, 21, was broadcast on state television this weekend. It shows dozens of people at an anti-government demonstration in Caracas surrounding the man, dousing him with gasoline, and setting him on fire in Plaza Altamira in the east of city.“He received six wounds in the torso with burns over 54 percent of his body surface, both second and third degree,” Alexis Parra Soler, a doctor treating Figuera, told RT.Horrifying images from the scene show Figuera running while nearly naked with flames on his back. “A person was set on fire, beaten up, stabbed... They nearly lynched him, just because he shouted out that he was a ‘Chavista,’” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, referring to supporters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela established by late leader Hugo Chavez.

In reply to by Kokito

LetThemEatRand SubjectivObject Fri, 06/16/2017 - 18:49 Permalink

Bernie is to socialism by any real definition as Trump is to a real definition of capitalism.   Socialism by its true definition involves taking over private enterprise and giving it to the workers.  While I do not agree that Bernie had the right answers to our problems (he was just another deck chair rearranger), he is no socialist.  The kind of complete bullshit seen in this article (comparing Bernie to Chavez) is exactly what prevents any real substantive debate on a national level concerning how to fix things.

In reply to by SubjectivObject

LetThemEatRand nmewn Fri, 06/16/2017 - 18:59 Permalink

The funny thing to me is that the same Tylers here who understand that the Fed -- hardly a socialist entity -- is one of the key roots of why the US may start looking like Venezeula in a few years, can't help but deliberately take pot shots at Bernie who is one of the only national politicians who even kind of supported Ron Paul's efforts to do something about it.  Granted he fell short, but of the assholes in Washington, he's one of the better ones for that alone. 

In reply to by nmewn

nmewn LetThemEatRand Fri, 06/16/2017 - 19:27 Permalink

Well here we have a real difference of opinion.The Fed in my view is absolutely socialist. Faaarrreee! "money"! It doesn't get anymore socialist than that, in fact, its in one of the planks of the Communist Manifesto...5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank >>>with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.<<<...and its run by what can only be described as Bolsheviks. It dominates the banking industry, they can't do squat without its blessing. Private banking?...lol...seriously?Now you may see some subtle difference between a communist and a socialist, I don't. As you've heard me say before, every pregnant socialist gives birth to a bouncing baby communist. War & welfare is what its designed for, by Marxists, free shit, wholly unsupported and disconnected from any reality or any tax base. 

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

LetThemEatRand nmewn Fri, 06/16/2017 - 19:38 Permalink

Nmewn, did you not get the part about how the Fed is not the State?  I know you know this, but I'm going to say it because I don't think it's sunk in.  The Fed is a group of private banks owned by individuals, most of whom we don't even know.   Marx did not advocate for such a system.  What you're complaining about is fascism, not socialism or communism.

In reply to by nmewn

LetThemEatRand Withdrawn Sanction Fri, 06/16/2017 - 21:31 Permalink

Fascism is not collectivism.  It is much more closely aligned with authoritarianism.  The "collective" (or people) don't own shit in a fascist system.  The ownership is concentrated among a few.I agree with Nmewn and others who have pointed out that "isms" are a fool's errand.  There is no pure system.  But look around and ask yourself whether we are closer to a system where the people own the means of production or where the means of production own the people.

In reply to by Withdrawn Sanction

Ms No Hobbleknee Sat, 06/17/2017 - 12:55 Permalink

Ron Paul on Bernie Sanders treachery:"I am not a bit surprised that the federal reserve got to the SenateI had expected Bernie Sanders to offer 604 which was the same as 1207 which is the audit the Fed bill but at the last minute he switched it and watered it down, really it adds nothing.  There is a possibility that it even makes the current conditions even worse.  This is essentially the bill, plus more, that we beat in the Senate financial committee, the [something] Watts bill.  This is so disappointing that this happened especially since I have worked with Bernie for months on this....  We need a true audit of the Fed and in this bill that is being offered now does not include this... It shows what powerful forces we are up against..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNuHRyip3iAEdit:  Also, what is Bernie the Bolshevik doing about the murder of his supporter Seth Rich?  Oh yeah nothing because in actuality Bernie is one of the worst of all of them.  Bernie probably threw that fight as well.  People create a myth about Bernie in their own minds.  I was lurking on a comment board where a bunch of psychiatrists were armchair analyzing the presidential candidates and despite their liberalism, they all agreed that he had the most apparent Narcissistic and psychopathic traits.  Bernie will say anything and then stab you in the back.  He has a lot of nasty shit swirling around him as well between the murder coverup of the murder of his operatives and other fans of his in the news for alleged murder.  Hillary is the only one that has worse things swirling around her.  Hillary owes Bernie too, even though she didn't get in.  He allowed her to throw the democratic convention.  People should care about that. 

In reply to by Hobbleknee