Prannation: Barlovento Edition

Barlovento, Barlovento, tierra ardiente del hierro.

Barlovento, Barlovento, tierra ardiente del hierro.

Daniel Pardo’s reporting on the “Zonas de Paz” in Barlovento for the Beeb is really amazing – even if you think you know this story, you’ll learn as you read.

A taste,

“En Venezuela el que está en la cárcel es porque es idiota”.

Cuando arrestaron a uno de ellos hace unos meses, cuentan, sobornaron al juez y al abogado público con carros y otros bienes.

Estamos en un pequeño patio del barrio por el que pasan niños en bicicleta y madres con sus bebés. Suena reguetón a todo volumen. Se fuma marihuana en papel kraft.

De repente uno le dice a la señora que pasa: “Disculpe lo malo, doña”.

Todos participan a la vez en la conversación. No se quedan quietos más de 5 minutos. En la misma moto, unos van y otros vuelven.

Then we get this amazing snippet:

Se les denominaron “zonas de paz”, a pesar de que no hay decreto o campaña que así las denomine.

“Las zonas de paz no existen. Es una expresión que ha comentado la oposición para sabotear el trabajo de pacificación”, le dijo Rangel Ávalos al portal Contrapunto.

Pero en algunas localidades donde hubo negociaciones los vecinos comentan haber visto vallas que declaraban el territorio como “zona de paz”. Pero las quitaron.

Según PoliMiranda, el número de homicidios en el estado aumentó en 2014 respecto a 2013, una tendencia que Guzmán atribuye a las negociaciones.

It’s a long, rich, detailed report, some of it amazingly ballsy, and it’s hard to do it justice with just a couple of quotes, so go read it. Still, I can’t resist this bit, towards the end of the piece.

Algunos analistas dicen que estas zonas funcionan como gobiernos paralelos, aunque informales, en un estilo de extensión de lo que se vive en las cárceles, donde la figura de autoridad es el Pran.

Ese podría ser el caso de Eduardo, el mayor y de más experiencia entre los presentes.

“Nosotros ya no jodemos (robamos) a la gente de la zona; nos enfocamos en los ricos de Caracas”, dice.

Entre más cerca esté uno del Pran, más lejos del peligro.

Jeez, Prannation much?

It’s sobering stuff, and Pardo gets big props for some incredible, hairraising reportorial bravado.

Nonetheless – and I wish I didn’t have to bring this up, but I feel I sort of do – his desk research is not in the same league as his street reporting. Daniel, pana, if you read this: stop citing OVV murder stats. Just stop. 

35 thoughts on “Prannation: Barlovento Edition

  1. So, if the Military is totally corrupt, if the “Police” is corrupt, the Guardia and Sebin worse than thugs, the MUD is also corrupt, as it has always been but worse with the re-incorporated Chavista hordes, the entire Judiciary system was destroyed, nothing but a den of rats, and the penitentiary system is the best school for professional criminals available in the world, who will control crime in Murderzuela? Obama or the Castros? La virgencita de Valle and Maria Lionza, perhaps, aided by Jose Gregorio and el Negro Primero. Y el Comandante Pajarito Eterno que nos ilumina.


    • It’s a good question. I think re-establishing law and order and a minimum level of public security may be the hardest task that the new regime, whenever that may be and whomever that may be, will face. It will take decades to get back to even 2000 levels of violence.


      • It depends on exactly how the change of regime comes. I am not certain that the constitution will survive the end game. A year of martial law and summary justice might speed the process. I am not saying this is a good thing or advocating it. Lots of mistakes would be made and a lot of injustices would occur. I am just pointing out that when the end of the regime comes, we may be crossing a sort of event horizon beyond which we really cannot predict the final outcome with any confidence.


  2. Thorough and depressing article. I wish he had at least mentioned the homicide rate in Venezuela and that area in 1998 compared to now.


  3. “Nosotros ya no jodemos (robamos) a la gente de la zona; nos enfocamos en los ricos de Caracas”, dice.

    I’ve always argued that the main problem with “la revolución” has always been its core message of revenge, its “retórica de venganza”… Even early on, when Hugo was just elected and he had a few good ideas around social equality, etc, they were usually accompanied by his typical catch phrases: “no volverán”, “la cuarta”, “los ‘ricos’ “… Revenge, revenge (insert image of Hugo punching his palm), “ellos los malos, nosotros los pobres”… it’s payback time, it’s still payback time, it will always be payback time…


    • It’s not just revenge, or even just exploiting lingering divides between rich&poor, etc. It’s a very, very old tactic, deliberately carried out through massive propaganda and general populace indoctrination. Massive Brain-Wash after the massive Brain-Drain: Dictatorships sow artificial hatred between groups and countries.

      Divide and conquer. Find someone to blame. Create animosity and/or jealousy against certain group, false villains and culprits. Castrismo 101. Works particularly well on ignorant countries without Real education.


  4. “…nos enfocamos en los ricos de Caracas”, dice.”

    Comentarios como este hacen que a uno le dé nostalgia por aquellas épocas fabulosas donde decían que los ricos iban y contrataban una banda de matones para borrar de la faz de la tierra a aquellos que les caían mal…

    …Ah, cierto, eso es lo que hacen los boliplastas con los colectivos hoy en día.


  5. To confront the problem of crime the goal is not to magically make it dissapear at one go , you have to plan , you have to organize , you have to begin small , concentrate your efforts in certain key areas , and bit by bit start growing in you capacity to deal with it with increasing effectiveness . According to Father Alejandro Moreno who is an expert on the subject after studying it for decades and living practically all his life in a Petare barrio, despite appearances , criminals are not as many as they appear , there are pockets of crimes in many barrios but the mayority of their inhabitants are not criminals , the criminals however are sufficiently numerous to make a big splash in the media and make their presence felt in the countrys every day life. largely he beleives because the state has withdrawn from the struggle against criminality and abandoned any serious effort to control it . he suggests that criminals are bred in those social enviroment were there are no constituted families , where men and women prosmicoulsy change partners all the time and women are left abandoned to try and raise their abandoned brood by irresponsible fathers with minimal help , where girls begin breeding when they are very young and inmature or lack the personal stamina to bring up their children and instead feel inclined to neglect them , in short in begins by being a problem of the social fabric of people living in the shantyhouses and whose neglect of their children lead to these developing warped and disordered personalities that make them prone to falling into criminal behaviour. Parental irresponsability mistreatment and neglect seems to be at the root of much of the criminality we suffer .

    How do you tackle that , the way its been tackled in other places :
    1.- By encouraging young people ( specially young women in their most fertile period ) in these environment not to breed prosmicously , by encouraging them to practice contraception , for instance by paying them to have a long term contraceptive implanted in their body after they have had their first child or second child ( when its been established these women are most inclined to stopped breeding) , by distributing contraceptives for free to young adolescent beggining their first sexual experiences , by making them easilyavailable all round.(this has bee done in the US) , by advertising the use of the morning after pill.
    2. By strongly punishing mens rape and sexual violence against women (targeting it ) , by making men pay some price in terms of non access to government social programs if they are found to be irresponsible in the discharge of their parental obligations , In the worst cases fining them for their parental misconduct.
    3.- By creating programs to take special care of the children in these communities in terms of their health care , feeding , schooling , by instilling in then a love for practicing sports and joining in sports teams or musical bands , maybe paying them for doing so . ( in ancient greece people were paid for attending theatrical events as they were seen as acts of civic duty) . or by creating prices for the winners of sports contests . Make them feel important and appreciated because of their talents , teach them the rewards of inner discipline
    4. By creating programs to give scholarships to kids with good school performance , or awarding prices to their parents , same if they shine in some sports or musical activity . Make them into local heroes , Shine the brightest light of public recognition on their persons.
    5. You create a small group of specialized tribunals uner special procedures to speedely handle the trial and punishment of hardened criminals , quickly identifying those with chronic sociopathic and criminal tendencies to have them segregated to where they cant do any more harm . Identify the bad apples , the incorrigibles and separate them from where they can contaminate others with their social maladies.
    6. Have the young men be enrolled in army like groups which teach then discipline and respect of authority while learning an occupation and working on some worthwhile collective job. Funny how the most developed countries in the world are know for having the biggest best run and organized armies , The US , the UK, Germany , Israel, Korea etc.
    7.Reorganize police forces , reducing their numbers and creating from scratch elite units giving them the most strategic jobs . develop in them a strong tribalistic and meritocratic culture . pay them well , give them fancy emblems of corporate identity.

    I have dozens of other ideas but the above might do for a start. Basic message start small and elitist , phocus on certain key tasks , be conscious that perfection is not the goal but gradual improvement , learn from mistakes , make constant improvement learning part of the exercise. dont take in more than you can chew . be very selective in who is chosen to become part of these elite groups , and make the whole exercise look glamorous .!!


    • Some good ideas there, BB.

      I would add:

      1. Create SuperMax style prisons for the worst of the worst.

      2. Adopt a 3 strikes policy. 3 strikes and you are off to Super Max.

      3. Make re-habilitation a priority for those not destined to Super Max.

      4. Adopt the “beat cop” approach where the same cops patrol the same areas and get to know the inhabitants.

      As you wrote, there is so much to be done, but we have to start somewhere


      • Thanks Roberto , Im sure there are many ideas arround that can be useful in addressing this difficult problem, among them some which you mention , certainly the hardened incorrigible criminal must be placed apart from the rest and kept a long time where they cant do harm either by committing new crimes or teaching their stuff to socially salvageable lesser criminals .

        Funny about the beat cop idea which sounds good although General Gomez had a different idea , he made it a point to bring policeman located in a community from distant places. He felt that in a place like venezuela the loyalty of the policeman would be with his friends neightbors and relatives , not with the state , whose presence most venezuelan historically have seen with suspicion and reticence . Venezuelas only like the state when whoever embodies it makes an effort to establish a quasi personal relationship with them , otherwise they sort of dislike it . (A close relative now deceased , originally from the Andes told me about the time he saw his first black person , during the days of general Gomez , a dark skinned policemen from Coro who had been brought over to watch over Gomez fellow andeans) .

        Americans instead tend to have a favourable view of the law and the state official who enforces it . borges mentions this in ones of his essays , how Argentinian movie goers were a bit put off by the way the american cops and robbers films of his time made policemen into automatic heroes , which they couldnt understand.!!


      • Bill:

        The beat cop approach has been tried in many places and cultures, most notably in New York City.

        The results vary, but usually tend to be on the good side depending on how invested the cops and their admins are in it.

        Given how cops are seen in Venezuela in general, it would seem unlikely to work, but with perseverance it could turn things around in a relatively short time.

        Look at it this way:

        If you are living in a barrio alongside gangs and pranes, chances are that the fear factor is high, especially when you think of helping to identify the cancer but realize that:

        1) The cop you talk to might be a part of the criminals themselves. If on the other hand the cop is the same one day after day, and you each get to know each other then the confidence level goes up.

        2) Honest cops may also fear the residents, not knowing which one will rat them out to gain points with the thugs. Again, personal relationships help.

        Now no single strategy will work on its own. There have to be complementary strategies, of course. Notably that crimes get prosecuted and that sentences are carried out for real.

        Regarding Syd’s comment, you really do sell yourself short. Your posts are thoughtful, to the point and informative.

        I think this blog’s comment quality went up the day you started posting here.

        If my assumptions are correct about you, you probably have the time to write some pretty good stuff.

        All you need is to convince yourself.

        Echale piernas vale!


        • If the “zonas de paz” fiasco I have read so much about in this blog has suggested anything to me it is that the “beat cop” idea is DOA in significant parts of the country. The military has been sent in to return a semblance of order to some gang-infested areas, becoming in essence an occupying force. The main reason has to do with scarcity of resources, the police being severely outgunned in those areas. A beat cop is a dead cop. The concept of well designed “zonas de paz” however makes a lot of sense to me. If you have limited resources try to focus them on restricted areas where you can hope to maximize their effect. Note how according to locals the effect of sending in the troops was to scare away the malandros. Heavy policing can be expected to keep some areas calm. The hope is that spillover from these calm and relatively prosperous areas will raise the living standard of less safe neighboring areas, akin to gentrification. I am not sure that abandoning some regions in favor of others is particularly ethical, but it would probably be the best bet.

          And to give a real final wack to the wasps nest of opinion lurking here, don’t forget that one of the easiest ways to suppress crime is to spread the wealth. In general there is a tendency to think that the problems in Venezuela all stem from poor education etc but lets not ignore simple poverty and a lack of government resources. I laugh at chavista talk of street democracy but shouldn’t forget that these ideas partly stem from the realization that there are few resources to go around. Those are somewhat desperate measures and reactions to living in a chaotic environment, they reflect a desire for order in a society that cannot afford to protect all of its citizens equally.


    • BB, I really like your full-fledged thinking, based on realities. Have you considered incorporating these thoughts in an article, submitting it to an appropriate journal — in English and Spanish?

      You should.

      Finding possible solutions to Venezuela’s social ills seems to be an overwhelming task, made more complex with competing voices, some needing to hear themselves, rather than considering a solution that calls for evolutionary progress in people’s thinking and perceptions about themselves — the key to a better future, for themselves and the country.


      • Syd : Thanks for your always generous comments , I would love to be capable of writing about these things with greater precision , will try it when I feel up to it . Im a bit bashful at writing at lenght about complex things where there are so many fine pens and minds who I m sure can do a better job. !!


        • BB, you are not bashful about writing in this blog, and you express yourself fully and well, in English (notwithstanding a few small spelling mistakes — no biggie for an editor). I assume the same in Spanish (Prodavinci?). The social ideas you express for Venezuela are worthy of a much larger readership than this Fray. And if JCN does not consider them for a stand-alone post in CC, consider submitting them as an article, not a book — no need to get overwhelmed — to the appropriate venue. Perhaps JCN could advise where best to put forth your ideas. Dale, vale.


        • P.S. You’re almost there, BB. Now find out the appropriate journal/target market, and the contact/name of the appropriate editor within it. With that information, write your query letter to that person, while pitching (aka marketing) your topic and providing the approximate word count. Dale, vale.


          • PPS. When pitching your topic, don’t sell the family farm!! Don’t include your article. Rather, tease the editor with key pitches into saying: Coño, yes! I’m interested! Of course for the “show of leg” to be successful, you have to know a little about the rag/blog, and the types of articles it publishes for its readers. Like they say in banking, know your customer. Final two pieces of advice. (1) Go for the small fry first, don’t send your article to the Wall Street Journal — yet; (2) Send your article to Juan who knows my email. I’ll correct typos and spelling mistakes, before sending it back to Juan.


        • I agree with Syd, you have the talent, the brain power, and therefore the duty, to give it a shot. “To he who is given, much is expected,” it says somewhere in the Bible (sorry, it’s been a while!).

          Anyway, what have you got to lose but your bashfulness? Of course you will get rejection slips but you will learn from them.


      • I second Syd’s comment. I almost made the same comment to Bill multiple times. His comments are full of insight. and relevant information.


    • B.B.,

      You have got 100% correct. Reduction of crime does not happen overnight, or with a magic bullet. It happens after years of hard world by dedicated professionals using tried and tested techniques. And, we must realize that the job is never “done”. The second you declare victory and exit the battlefield, the problem starts all over again.


    • Most of these are good ideas but they are long-term ideas for preventing young men from becoming criminals. They are useless for addressing the current situation in Venezuela, where there are already great numbers of criminals robbing, kidnapping, and murdering with near impunity. And where the police, the judiciary, and the prisons are both massively corrupted and procedurally overwhelmed.

      Fire prevention techniques do not put out fires that are already blazing, nor do they remedy gross neglect of firefighting systems.


      • The ideas include answers for both the long term and short term , for example what did NY do when they wanted to take control of the subway back from a huge group who constantly violated its norms in a routine fashion , they discovered that one problem was that once you arrested them the normal judiciary procedure to get them sentenced and sanctioned was too elaborate and long , specially taking them to downtown and then keeping them until the courts had time to deal with each case , So they set up courts right next to the stations where people once cauth whereinmmediately moved on to the courts and sanctioned in a speeded up process and they kept at it until people learned that there was no impunity for violating the rules . People must be made to understand that the process for getting them caught and sanctioned is fast and effective , they had to change the way they dealt with violations , they created special rules to deal with violations and they had to create special police and judiciary teams , not necessarily large that used new more effective procedure to let the violators see that the connection between violating a norma and being sanctioned was almost inmmediate . The thing is to use not the whole bureocratic structure to deal with problems but specially selected and trained teams to do the dirty job fast and effectively using procedures which where not the ordinary but stream lined for maximum effect .

        The thing is that you have to start somewhere and you must not be afraid of the size of a problem or you will never get things done , and you must have a plan , an idea to guide you through your effort . people forget how for a long time US police and many courts , specially in the large cities were corrupt and the effort it took to make them amore effective and reliable machinery for the pursuit of crime , one thing that helped was the creation of professional elite organizations like the FBI and the impact the had in crime fighting .

        Its all about applying Parettos principles that if you have 80% of crime being committed by 20% of criminals you go after that 20% , or that it success in crime fighting comes from using the best trained selected and equiped 20% of the police force , then you concentrate your efforts in building up the sprit d corp and resources of that elite 20% of the police force . You go at a problem by disecting it into manageable pieces and go after it methodically and relentlessly one piece at a time until you got it licked . The all nothing visualization of how problems are tackled is wrong , because overly ambitious, you phocus your efforts , ou concentrate on what is most important , you go by stages , you aceept defeats and failures as part of a learning process with humility and patience but you learn and cure your failings and never stop !! thats the deal , thats the ticket. .


        • Hmmm, a plan of permanent behavior modification — much needed — through the joined forces of the legal and police system, imposing fines, hopefully not turning into a mini-guiso.


          • Syd the idea was actually applied in NY and worked , the story is told in one of Macdowells books , the itinerant courts were the ones applying the sanctions . We must expect some hanky panky, its inevitable specially at the begining , gradually it should peter out as the police judicial team becomes increasingly select . monitoring should include some sting operations .

            Something funny happened in the early period of the Caracas underground , people would behave like model users , totally different than the way they behaved when using other public serivices , it lasted quite a few years , maybe we should look into how that ocurred !!


            • “…the Caracas underground ”
              Yes, well I remember the early years of the spotless metro and the frequent announcements over the P.A. system of each station: “Se les recuerda a los señores pasajeros de no cruzar la línea amarilla…”


        • What is going to make correcting the situation here orders of magnitude harder than turning New York around is the culture of the police force here. The differences between the NY police and Venezuela police are almost too great to measure in areas such as dedication, professionalism, the feeling and understanding that you are what stands between the population which you want to serve and the criminals, and feeling personally violated when a citizen is violated. There is a serious problem with lack of training and equipment. But that goes hand-in-hand with the cultural issues above. Merely putting these people through schools and handing them more gear is not going to make them professional or mean that gear will be put to good use. There’s a huge lack of the police using proper polices and procedures. Then you have the systemic problem of there not being the proper oversight by supervisors, responsibility and liability when things don’t go well. And it goes beyond the police force. When the police totally drop the ball and crime skyrockets there aren’t heated calls that go from the mayor or governor to the police chief.

          Isn’t it amazing that in a country where every single person’s fingerprints are on file, you even have to give your fingerprints when you buy a telephone, and yet the police make so little use of fingerprint evidence. I’m sure we all know cases of serious crimes where the police do nothing more than take a report, and put it with the others.

          To fix the problem here it’s going to take changing the minds of the people whose minds can be changed, and getting rid of the rest who’s minds can’t be changed and replacing them with better people, which also means overhauling the training and selection process. It never stops. The things connected to the thing you are fixing have to be fixed as well.

          So it’s not like the opposition is going to come in with a better plan, and maybe pay the police a little bit more, and were going to start to pull out of this mess. I think everyone agrees it’s going to be a lot of work to get back to what things were like 15 years ago, and that really wasn’t all that great.

          Fixing pretty much anything here in Venezuela is like what it would be to fix the electrical distribution system. Just about every aspect of the system is done improperly, lazily and sloppily. If you contracted professionals from power companies in the first world and put them to work starting at one end of the country they wouldn’t be done till they had replaced everything and reached the other end of the country. And if you don’t develop professionalism within the national power companies and you merely turned over this new perfectly engineered and installed system to the people presently working, it wouldn’t be long till it was back to the mess we have now once they got their hands on it.


          • You are right its going to be much harder because you re starting almost from nothing , the NY idea would have to be adapted to local conditions , but the basics are you handle these problems by using elite special task teams , targeting the problems strategically one by one , being very choosy in who goes into those teams , building them up one step at a time , not being shy about outside help , creating special procedures and practices which probe themselves as better than the regular procedures , taking chances , being bold , going back to the drawing board everytime that an effort breaks down , never crying about spilt milk using every experience as part of a tough learning process.doing everything to foster the sprit d corp of these small elite special teams , above all you , and this is the most difficult , you have to isolate them from small time clientelar partisa political pressures , above all you prize performance, measurable results and you stick to it come rain or shine , there are no outside models than can simply be inmitated , they will all need to be adapted to the strenous conditions of our local cultural habitat.


            • I agree but I think any time a police force has been turned around it is come from the top down, by diagnosing and fixing broken management. Just like with any business or corporation if management is broken it doesn’t matter what you do with the workers, it’s not going to work. The most important changes to be made are at the managerial level of the police departments. After all that’s what management does, it keeps things on track and all of the players working together in the right direction. The idea is if you fix management then the fix-it people are done and the management takes care of the rest. It’s also the only way that anything accomplished is going to be long-lasting.

              I also think that the opposition needs to avoid the failures that Chavez made when instead of fixing or improving existing institutions he made end runs around them with his misiones. The opposition will need to avoid the temptation of taking the shortcut of creating something new rather than fixing someone else’s basket case. It’s not going to work to leave the old broken police forces in place and have a few new crack teams that deal with armed robbery or kidnappings etc.


              • You are right, one has to pincer the current structures both from the top down ( with improved management ) and from the botton up , by creating elite organizations from below that serve as models and provide manpower and systems that can be used to improve the performance of the old organization . In short you use the new organizations to help transform the rest .

                Years ago the govt decided that Pdvsa should take over the states petrochemical business which was in ruins , Pdvsa didnt want to , they didnt like what was there , the govt had to brive Pdvsa (lowering their royalties) and Pdvsa took the challenge, What it did was colonize the petrochemical organization with its own people and systems so that it might turn a corner and become a different more efficient organization . Also even inside the old Petrochemical organization there were pockets of good professionals you could convert into the employees of a better run company . The job is to transform the existing organizations but for that you have to colonize them not just with managers (managers alone are helpless if the rest of the organization is structurally unfit or rottened ) but with systems , practices , habits of thoughts , a new corporate culture and of course lots of people who know how to do things right . The problem in Venezuela today is those model organizations dont exist , they have been destroyed so at some point in the line you start new (using as much as you can the best of the old) and then you use the new organization to colonize the old one and improve its functional operation. expanding Inkspot style !!

                If the rot is too deep and the old organization is not salvagable except in pieces , then you take the salvageable pieces and let the rest wither away and dissappear. Had a very talented friend who took over an old govt organization at a company that had been privatized , the old organization was really in shambles so he got rid of them all and replaced them with new blood he made sure could do a good job, I beleive there was one lady from the old organization he kept on for reasons of compassion , the rest were let go. Of course we are talking of an organization where every one was a political appointee and the rot had gone so deep there was nothing to do with it.


  6. BB the cleansing and ideas need to be focused and directed not to pranes in lower levels but to the state itself. Many of these ideas need to be targeted to a anticorruption tzar offcie to deal with internal practices and hopefully an exemplary effect can be created towards the larger society.

    IMO it is unreal to target small time crooks when the big stealing and criminality lies at he heart of the central state.


    • Luis the above ideas phocus on the problem of ordinary crime , not on the corruption problem which as you rightly point out has more to do with how you organize the state and its activities and maybe with some deeper cultural problems which affect the whole of society . Because the blog was about pranes and their accomplices I concentrated on them . Ultimately both the crime and the corruption problem have an area of overlap which needs addressing in common….but thats for a later piece.


    • The current Govt. local anti-crime campaign is electoral, since crime is right at the top along with consumer goods scarcity as Pueblo concerns. This campaign is more propagandistic than really effective, since: the local pranes are usually tipped off/scram before the police/GNB arrive; many non-hardened criminal bachaquero-type citizens trying to make a living are detained; the large majority of those detained are subsequently freed; and, the “ciudadanos cooperantes” who cooperated with police in fingering the criminals subsequently suffer violent consequences por “sapear”.


  7. Vzla has been a violent country with high crime and highly deficient, corrupt Judicial, Legislative and Police and Penitentiary systems for almost 6 decades now. Coincidentally, or not, ever since there has been a perfect storm of Oil, plus so-called “democratic” or “socialistic” inept and kleptomaniac governments.

    Chavismo has been an even worse disaster, of course, violent deaths have been multiplied Sixfold. From aprox 4,000 per year in the 90’s (no walk in the park) with the Ad/Copey MUD, to today’s 25,000 continuous Massacre.

    People talk or write extensively about complicated, convoluted sociological conjectures and offer even more complex and unrealistic programs of all sorts to solve the problem.

    In my opinion, it’s much, much less complicated than that, and yet, not easily achievable, realistically, in the profoundly ravaged at all levels, and deeply corrupt Murderzuela we ended up with.

    Here’s the jist of it:

    You have to PUNISH crime. Period. Scare the shit out anyone even thinking about it, first and foremost. End Impunity. Simple as that. Or is it?

    To actually achieve that, in Kleptozuela, you would have to completely dismantle the entire putrid “Justice system”, where 94.87% of Judges are corrupt thieves; you would have to reinstate the basic 3 institutions, which are almost completely destroyed, and regain at least a semblance of a Republican Separation of Powers.

    You would also have to dismantle the entire “Police” “Guardia Nazional” and “Sebin” Malandro forces, PLUS renovate the entire Military and the entire Penitentiary system, dismantle nationwide Gangs or “zonas de paz” that have been there for decades, completely purge the whole enchilada, really. Na’guara…..

    All that behind a weak, divided and corrupt-as-always leadership (MUD-light) during very, very tough economic times, during a massive social, financial, industrial, agricultural, fishing, forestry, construction, etc, etc, Comprehensive Monumental Crisis, indeed.

    Piece of cake for the next Chavista-light, Amnestied, Mudcrap “democratic” government, huh?

    It will take at least a decade for this mixed, corrupt, soft MUD to go back to 1990’s crime levels.
    Probably a lot more. That’s why none of the 1 Million educated Professionals, or you, will ever go back.

    Tip of the day: Look at how it was done a lot faster, in Singapore or Chile.


  8. My Dad had a story about how in medieval times there was this old old cardinal , who always walked very slowly , almost dragging his feet with deeply slumped shoulders , while holding on to a cane with trembling hand. When this cardinal spoke he did so in a low breathless whispering tone , interpersed with small numerous couphs.

    When the reigning Pope died there was fierce battle between the factions of two strong willed ferocious cardinals each of which wanted desperately to become the new pope, their forces were about even and so the election went on for a long time until they both realized they had reched an unbreakable stalemate.

    They then decided that they needed a truce period in which they would reinforce their factions and go at it again and decided that to create time for themselves they would elect pope the old old cardinal who being so ill and weak would shortly die and allow them a second chance to fight their struggle til final resolution.

    In due course the old cardinal was elected Pope and just as the crowning ceremony was over he suddenly rose up , vigorously standing tall and erect firmly gripping his Papal Staff and looking at all with a commanding presence pronounced with virile and resonant voice ‘Eh…. ALLORA IO SONNO IL PAPA ‘, and went on to rule with iron hand the papacy for 20 years ,!!

    We dont know that the leadership that will finally arise from the laborous process now led by the MUD to unseat the Regime will be irresolute or timid , we dont know how they will act once they attainthe reins of power , one thing is to battle a tyranny that uses coercion and fraud everytime you stand up quite another to hold power in yourr hands , I have some suspicion that they are not as gentled spirited as they now appear to be , that there are some strong willed leaders that will rise to the demands of the job once they have the institutional means of doing so . Time will tell !!

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    • Nice story, but there are way too many bloody piranhas circling the Coroto Pond, too many ravenous, salivating prairie dogs and vicious marauding vultures, too many red rats jumping ships, too many disguised muddy traitors, too many putrid and powerful military thugs, too much corruption and greed everywhere. No frail, old cardinals in sight around Guisozuela.


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