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Venezuelan acting president Nicolas Maduro(L) clinches his fist next to his wife Cilia Flores(R) while they attend the funeral of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is taken from the Military Academy to former 4 de Febrero barracks in Caracas, on March 15, 2013. The body of Chavez was moved Friday to the barracks in a final march to honor of the leftist leader a month before elections are held to pick his successor. The Caracas military academy, where Chavez's casket has been on view, served as the starting point for the procession escorting the remains of the 58-year-old, who last week succumbed to cancer after 14 years in power.  AFP PHOTO/LEO RAMIREZ

Venezuela Government Looks to Arm Civilians to Combat Crime

There have been concerns raised in relation to Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro, who is looking to introduce new anti-crime measures, which include supplying civilians with arms, as well as giving supervised groups the right to gather intelligence.

Although security experts have raised concerns surrounding the plans, the Government remained firm that only ‘the people can help the people.’ The ‘Carobobo Campaign 2021’ looks toward a number of demographics when it comes to implementing new measures, including the military, police and civilian populations.

An intelligence system known as SP3 is active within neighbourhoods, and will be used to identify paramilitary groups and criminal organisations. Operation Humanist Liberation of the People (OLHP) is currently considering a deployment of Government forces to target and neutralise criminals.

Despite the optimistic viewpoint given by the Government, crime statistics show that such groups can actually do more to encourage violence, which can spill over into extortion and intimidating the public, which leads to blurred lines when it comes to the law.

The Government’s plans to arm civilians not only raises concerns in relation to human rights, but security groups are also concerned that such measures could lead to new criminal groups being created.

Similar actions have been instilled by Chavismo in the past with very little effect. In fact, records show that there was an actually an increase in the number of deaths reported. The figure reported for ‘violent deaths’ in 2016 was 91.8 per 1000,000, an increase from 82 per 100,000 in 2015.

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