The Latin American nation is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world with more than 19,000 murders last year, according to police and civil society organisations.

Venezuela's murder rate is more than three times that of Mexico, and is surpassed only by El Salvador and Honduras.

 Along with the murder rate, levels of robbery and kidnapping have also been going up under the rule of Hugo Chavez, the president.

"People don't blame him [Chavez], he never mentions the problems, he always blames his own ministers so he tried to avoid the confrontation with the problems .... The government since two to three years ago realised that it was a political problem but before they thought it was part of a class struggle," said Roberto Briceno-Leon, a sociologist and criminologist.

But Chavez’s opponents say these measures are only the latest in a long list of failed attempts to boost security.


Original article here.