June 1, 2006


Crime wave, police silence worry Caracas: The growth of crime in Caracas has provoked street protests amid complaints that the Venezuelan government is lax in dealing with the problem. (STEVEN DUDLEY, 6/01/06, MiamiHerald.com)

When thieves shot and wounded Austria's consul in Venezuela as he entered his office Wednesday, it was just the latest in a string of high-profile crimes underlining how dangerous Caracas has become in recent years.

The crime wave sparked massive street protests after police found the bodies of three kidnapped boys and their bodyguard last month, and forced President Hugo Chávez's government into action, rounding up 21 suspects, including six Caracas police officers.

But the quick arrests in the case of the Faddoul children, whose Canadian father owns several shoe stores in Venezuela, provoked more questions -- such as why nothing was done to free the boys before they were killed -- and heightened concern about the Chávez administration's seemingly lackadaisical attitude toward rising crime.

''How is it possible they've captured so many people so quickly?'' asked Santiago Georges, the Faddouls' lawyer. He added: ``It's possible because the police are involved.''

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 1, 2006 10:03 AM

This ain't no crime wave; it's the natural way of conducting business for Hugo Chavez and the street thugs that put him in office.

Posted by: Brad S at June 1, 2006 10:36 AM

There was speculation here a bit ago that Chavez would allow/encourage street crime so he could use it as an excuse to institute a repressive police state.

Posted by: erp at June 1, 2006 4:04 PM

Chavez will do well to be alive in 5 years. Castro has lived this long only because Cuba has no oil (yet) and because we promised Kruschev we wouldn't kill him. Hugo doesn't have a patron.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 2, 2006 4:37 PM
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