2011 December 27 Tuesday
Violent Venezuela

Writing in Aljazeera (which has surprisingly good articles in English btw) Dorothy Kronick, a former Fulbright scholar in Venezuela, reports on the violent culture in Venezuela.

Before joining the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the conductor Gustavo Dudamel often led Venezuela's celebrated youth symphony in performances at the Central University of Venezuela. The university's concert hall is a rare enclave of architectural loveliness in Caracas: Alexander Calder designed a tremendous sculpture for its ceiling, and murals decorate the surrounding plaza. That prized plaza was damaged last Friday, when armed assailants attacked the university in an outburst of the peculiar violence that has come to define the Venezuelan capital.

The gunmen lit fires just outside the concert hall, attempted to force open its doors and cloaked the entryway in tear gas. Their intent, it appears, was to interrupt the tallying of votes from that day's student-body government elections; the group destroyed machines used for counting and prevented students from delivering ballot boxes to the election committee. The academic departments in which votes were lost scheduled new elections for Wednesday, only to be stopped again with a second volley of tear gas.

Gunmen tried to disrupt a student election. The stakes here weren't about important things like, say, corporate ownership, prices, jobs, or free speech for newspaper reporters. Though the gun men were trying to help pro-Chavez candidates. It illustrates the extent to which the state is complicit in encouraging Venezuela's violent culture.

Read the full article. Venezuela's homicide rate is 3 times Mexico's without Mexico's drug war. Mexico's got an excuse. Hugely wealthy and violent narcotics traffickers have thoroughly corrupted Mexico's political system and intimidated and corrupted their police. What's with Venezuela?

The Mexican Navy has just taken over the 600,000 person municipality of Veracruz-Boca del Rio with 900 police dismissed as too corrupt. A few dozen bodies at a time are turning up dead due to an on-going battle between the Gulf and Zeta cartels. Yet Venezuela has 3 times the murder rate. Mexican gangs are even operating expanding extortion rings in the United States, preying on auto sellers, auto repair shops, and other businesses that employ illegal aliens. Within Mexico cartels have built parallel national radio systems to coordinate defenses against the government. The government's sovereign control of Mexico is being challenged.

The fact that Venezuela is far worse with crime than Mexico shows just how far a culture can decay. We should seek to reverse even smaller amount of such decay within our own borders. It should be US policy to work very hard to keep Mexico's problems out of the US and to eliminate gangs, extortion, and corruption. Federal and local law enforcement should make a big push to deport illegal aliens and lock up and cut off the gangs from Mexico. Furthermore, federal policy should be to come down very hard on organized crime elements operating in the US from all over the world (e.g. Russia). We are rich pickings for organized ruthless gangs an an era of easy air transportation and cheap and rapid telecommunications. We need to make the United States a much harder target for the world's criminals.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 December 27 08:03 PM  Civilizations Decay


Comments
Red said at December 27, 2011 10:11 PM:

Mexico's problems could be fixed in a single year: Have the government take over the drug running. Funding for the cartels goes away and the gangs fall apart.

Get Real said at December 28, 2011 1:08 PM:

Red, it's not as simple as you think. If Mexico's problems could be fixed in a year then U.S. problems could be fixed in a year too.

Randall, the solution doesn't lie in deporting, hating, isolating countries, blaming others or putting everybody in jail. It's the stupid economic system that is collapsing all over the world.

What kind of "good" living do you think can exist in a country that pretends to isolate itself from the rest of an empoverished world? Get real. We are part of the world, you know, even if you'd like to think that the U.S. belongs alone in another world. It would be better addressing and solving world problems globally, thus many of your problems will be solved too.

By the way if you talk about "violent culture" let's not overlook the elephant in the room called U.S. Foreign Policy.

It's only ordinary people -just like you and me- trying to make ends meet. When you start to get hungry, I promise that you too will become violent.

Dave in Seattle said at December 28, 2011 4:21 PM:

Your recommendations make too much sense and are far too beneficial for the average American citizen for our ruling elites to implement. The one additional policy I would recommend is legalizing all recreational drugs. Eliminate the black market-by legalizing and regulating recreational drugs-and watch the narco gangs/organized crime wither away.

In said at December 29, 2011 5:21 PM:

We should seek to reverse even smaller amount of such decay within our own borders. It should be US policy to work very hard to keep Mexico's problems out of the US and to eliminate gangs, extortion, and corruption.

legalizing weed is an easy place to start.

Zooey Mommy said at January 2, 2012 10:27 AM:

Just legalize the stuff man. Ron Paul would. Ron Paul will.

Tru Dat said at January 2, 2012 12:59 PM:

"Randall, the solution doesn't lie in deporting, hating, isolating countries, blaming others or putting everybody in jail. It's the stupid economic system that is collapsing all over the world."

Violent crime during the Great Depression was out of control! Christ, you're an idiot.

Rick Darby said at January 4, 2012 2:11 PM:

"It would be better addressing and solving world problems globally, thus many of your problems will be solved too."

Oh, thank you very much. We can't just jail and deport foreign criminals and keep them from getting into the United States. Too simple, not utopian enough. We have to solve all the world's problems and then maybe we can expect some relief.

PJ Ray said at January 14, 2012 3:31 PM:

"We can't just jail and deport foreign criminals and keep them from getting into the United States"

It's difficult, but keep your hopes high and fingers crossed Rick!! One day the world will finally jail and deport all those foreign criminals dressed as American soldiers out of Afghanistan, Libya, Europe, Latin America and Irak.


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