A few days ago, Bloomberg’s Anatoly Kurmanaev published a story on the black market for bullets. After reading it, one comes away with the clear impression that the military’s negligence is a big part of the story behind Venezuela’s soaring crime rates. But the saddest part is that these revelations barely caused a blip in our schizophrenic public sphere.
After the government issued a directive ordering all bullets in the country to be serialized and tracked, the state’s bullets-and-weapons-selling monopoly CAVIM (part of the Defense Ministry) refused to comply. The reason? Money.
But that’s not all. After the story came out, a frustrated reader sent me the Defense Ministry’s 2014 Annual Report. In it, we find this cute little nugget regarding CAVIM:
“”La ley desarme afecto [sic] considerablemente las metas comerciales de la compañía, ya que las unidades de negocios de munición ha cumplido el 89,51% de lo programado. Esto afecto [sic] el plan de ventas.” (“The disarmament law had a considerable effect on the company’s commercial goals, becasue [sic] the ammunition business units have achieved 89.51% of their programmed goals. This has affected the sales plan.”)”
In other words, the “disarmament law” (yes, apparently there is one) has affected the military’s bottom line. What. A. Problem.
In fact, the whole report is quite shocking – bemoaning how production of bullets has been stalled by frequent power outages and problems importing raw material, for example. It even lists as one of its achievements the registration of the company’s logo in the Intellectual Property Registry – how socialist of them.
Good luck trying to find a discussion on this topic in Venezuela’s squalid, overrun, very red media landscape, more focused as it is on making sure Obama understands Venezuela is a “territory of peace.”