Venezuela Has Arrested over 77,000 People in 2017

CARACAS, VENEZUELA, JULY 9: A protester with a tear gas mask and the Venezuelan flag holding a tear gas carister during clashes with the Bolivarian National Guard in a demonstration marking 100 days of protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, on July 9, 2017. Venezuela hit its 100th …
Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Authorities in Venezuela have arrested and detained over 77,000 people throughout the course of 2017 as a result of skyrocketing rates of crime and political dissent amid the country’s political, economic, and humanitarian crises.

The country’s Scientific, Criminal and Criminal Investigation Unit (CICPC) released the statistics, appearing to celebrate the news as if it were a positive thing.

“Thanks to the work we have been doing with the officials during this 2017, we have achieved the arrest of 77 thousand 784 citizens, the seizure of 9 thousand 273 firearms, 36 thousand 749 ammunition, 17 thousand 686 vehicles recovered,” said CICPC director Douglas Rigo. “The Interpol office also captured 43 people who were required with red alert notification.”

Rico also boasted that police operations have enabled the recovery “13 million 838 thousand 510 tons of strategic copper, bronze and aluminum material” to help provide money to the almost bankrupt government.

In the first seven months of 2017, thousands were arrested, killed, or injured as part of a widespread protest movement against the country’s socialist regime, which continues to consolidate its authority through a series of fraudulent elections designed to usurp the power of elected politicians. Protests have largely now faded amid worsening morale and physical energy to do so.

Security forces were also known for their brutality in response to the protests, using weapons such as tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets against civilians, leading to the deaths of at least 125 people.

Looting and robbery are now commonplace in Venezuela as people struggle to survive amidst the complete collapse of its economy and unprecedented rates of inflation. Hundreds of individuals, including police officers, have been arrested in some of the nation’s most impoverished communities.

In some cases, mass looting sprees have broken out, with images showing people hauling vending machines through the streets as well as emptying supermarkets, bakeries, butcher shops, and pharmacies of their products, as well as setting fires and smoke bombs as people run through the streets.

Violent crime is also at its highest rate in history. According to statistics, nearly 10,000 minors were killed in 2016, with that number likely to rise this year.

The capital of Caracas is now considered the most violent city in the world, surpassing the likes of Acapulco, Mexico, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras, with a homicide rate of 130.35 per 100,000 residents. Other cities, such as Gran Barcelona, Cumana, Barquisimeto, Valencia, Maturin, and Ciudad Guyana also feature in the top 50.

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