The Pirates of Lake Maracaibo

Last Saturday, eight fishermen left their homes in San Francisco (South of Maracaibo) in the early hours to go to work. They didn’t return to their homes. Their families and friends became worried and the local police started a search. Three days later, authorities found them dehydrated on an oil rig in Lake Maracaibo, near the city of…

La Vinotinto hitches a ride

The national football team (a.k.a. La Vinotinto) returned to the country yesterday after its first-round elimination of the 2015 Copa America held in Chile. But the way back home for most of the Vinotinto players (some left Chile on their own) and crew was more complicated than expected. Sports newspaper Meridiano reports that the original plan…

You only police once (YOPO)

Venezuelan cops don’t have it easy these days: they are either killed in horryfing circunstances, attacked by irregular armed groups or find themselves facing the wrath of the people they’re supposed to protect. So, what advice can be offered to those in charge of keeping us safe, specially when criminal bands have more deadly firepower at…

Corruption goes Brazilian

Back in April, Juan Cristobal wrote about a big corruption investigation in Brazil. Uncovered by the magazine Época, the story involved local conglomerate Odebrecht, state development bank BNDES, and a large loan promised in 2009 by then President Lula Da Silva to the comandante presidente for the construction of Metro Los Teques. Both Odebrecht and BNDES formally…

Out with the mayor

In early March, I wrote about Lumay Barreto, the opposition (VP) mayor of bordertown Guasdualito (Apure State) who was swiftly impeached by the PSUV-controlled municipal council for allegedly “abandoning her post”. As expected, the TSJ’s Constitutional Hall has validated the council’s decision, confirming its president Víctor Blanco (PSUV) as caretaker. Gladys Gutierrez (head of both…

The fall of Rafael Esquivel (Updated)

Huge news out of Zurich today, where several high ranking members of FIFA were arrested for alleged corruption and money laundering. One of them is Rafael Esquivel, chairman of the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) for the last 27 years and first Vice-President of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) since March. You read that right, twenty…

Chavismo on wheels

In early April, a close relative of mine was looking everywhere for new tires. He hasn’t found anything yet. At least he isn’t the only one caught in this pickle. Car tires are part of the long, long list of stuff that is currently lacking in this country. People are doing the impossible to find them. Some…

Jailhouse Overload

In case you missed it, there was a hostage crisis last week at the Bolivarian National Police HQ in Caracas. A group of inmates took two officers as a form of protest for the overcrowding and the endless delays in their judicial process. One of the inmates died during the riot. The standoff ended after some…

Deadly Peace in the Tuy Valley (Updated)

Another weekend, another massacre in Venezuela: ten people were killed and three wounded during a late birthday party in Lomas de Guadalupe, a recently opened housing complex located near the town of Ocumare del Tuy (Miranda State). Sadly, the details of the incident sound all too familiar. An armed group came into the building and shot…