The Observatorio Venezolano de la Violencia (OVV), an NGO that tracks crime statistics, announced that as of today there had been 27,785 murders in the country in all of 2015. The figure would place the country’s murder rate at 90 per 100,000 citizens, making Venezuela a very serious contender for the murder capital of the world.
Along with the figures, the NGO released a statement detailing some of the difficulties they face in their task due to the fact that the Venezuelan government does not release official crime statistics:
The lack of information has become state policy, and it undoubtedly affects not only this aspect of society. Public universities have rejected [this policy], since the national government has also stopped releasing poverty and medical statistics, along with all indicators of Venezuelan life that could point to a failure of government.
Pending the release of official murder rates from other countries in Latin America, La Patilla estimates that the region might see a total of approximately 145,000 murders in 2015, 19% of which would have occurred in Venezuela alone.
National Guard Soldier Killed, Eight Injured in Grenade Attack
A National Guard unit manning a security checkpoint in Caracas’ Plaza la Concordia was the target of a grenade attack last night. The attack resulted in the death of one National Guard soldier and injuries to eight others. An eight-month-old child who happened to be in the vicinity of the checkpoint was also injured.
El Universal reported today that the grenade was tossed from a Mision Vivienda subsidized housing building that stands beside the checkpoint. According to witness statements, it would appear that the grenade was tossed from inside an apartment.
A security camera near the scene of the explosion managed to capture the attack on tape. Below, the video:
One Killed, Ten Injured in Prison Riot
At least ten inmates in the 26 de Julio prison located in San Juan de Los Morros, Guarico state were injured early this morning when a grenade detonated during the course of a prison riot. El Nacional reports that a prison administrator has died as a result of injuries sustained in the blast.
El Nacional also reports that as of noon today, at least one woman was being held hostage by the rioting inmates.
National Guard Helicopter Crashes Inside Colombia
A Venezuelan National Guard helicopter suffered a mechanical failure and crashed in Colombia near Paraguachon, Zulia state earlier today. El Nacional reports that there were two National Guard officers on board along with the pilot, and that they all were uninjured in the crash.
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