Venezuela: Recording five kidnappings a day

Venezuela: Recording five kidnappings a day

Caracas : Venezuela | Nov 11, 2011 at 11:57 PM PST
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Washington Nationals Catcher Kidnapped by Gunmen in Venezuela

AFP - Venezuela, the most violent countries in Latin America, recording five kidnappings a day, according to unofficial data, packages that are resolved quickly and generally with impunity after the payment of a ransom from the family.

"Venezuela joined in 2010 the club of ten countries with the highest number of kidnappings in the world", and the problem worsened until reaching the number five daily kidnappings, deplores the criminal lawyer Fermin Marmol , recalling that the government is reluctant to publish statistics on the issue.

The kidnapping Wednesday in the state of Carabobo (northern Venezuela) of the baseball player Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals catcher in the American League (MLB), is a reminder that Venezuela is suffering from insecurity, with 18,000 strips recorded crime rates and a record of impunity.

The family of Ramos, 24, remained unaccounted for Friday the kidnappers.

Typically, about four out of five kidnappings are classified in the "express" because they are resolved within 24 hours between the two parties, the kidnappers often lack of preparation and logistics for holding hostages and hold.

In 90% of cases, the kidnappers forced the victim to climb in a car, travel a few miles and make early contact with the family, that they ask for a ransom of around $ 8,000 in nine of ten cases.

In most cases, the family pays and the hostage was released unharmed.

This procedure, imported from Colombia and Mexico, has developed mainly in urban areas over the past decade, according to the "Venezuela No Kidnapping," which estimates that one in four kidnappings registered in Caracas, the capital.

According to experts, the profile of the kidnappers is usually that of young offenders ill-prepared, very aggressive, armed and drug users.

This is for most of the criminals who previously engaged in robberies jewelers, banks and small businesses, before retraining in an area just as lucrative and less risky, even if the offense is punishable by 10 to 15 years from prison in Venezuela.

Esperanza Hermida, coordinator of Provea, an advocacy organization Human Rights, criticizes "the lack of public mechanisms" to curb the upsurge, the "impunity" and resulting police not always honest with them Venezuelans do not trust.

Indeed, if you count both by Colombian guerrillas among the authors of kidnapping, police and former police officers are often involved, confirms Mr. Marmol.

According to official data from 2009, between 15% and 20% of crimes are committed by police in Venezuela, and the proportion increases for most violent crimes.

The government has recently implemented a program to to clean up the police, along with a plan to disarm the population, whose main concern today is insecurity.

For Ms. Hermida, this problem is now affecting "the whole Venezuelan society and foreigners visiting the country."

The latter argued tirelessly to "improve the training and salaries of police and conduct their treatment."

In 2010, Venezuela experienced a rate of 48 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010, making it the most violent countries in South America. The world average is 8 per 100,000 inhabitants, and about 5 per 100,000 in European countries.

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Wilson Ramos was taken by four armed men near his home in Santa Ines in central Venezuela
Wilson Ramos was taken by four armed men near his home in Santa Ines in central Venezuela
lalag is based in Karāchi, Sind, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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