Venezuela’s Crime Rates Rise Due to Poverty

Venezuela is a beautiful country known for its striking natural beauty and urbanized culture. Venezuela is also home to some of the world’s largest oil deposits, and houses large quantities of coal, iron, ore, bauxite, and gold. The country has experienced great wealth and prosperity as a result of its natural resources.

However, economic growth in Venezuela had disproportionately benefited some people more than others. A majority of Venezuela’s citizens live in impoverished areas and have not benefited from the oil wealth. Over 60% of the households in Venezuela are poor families, and the unemployment rate has only been increasing over the last few years. Sewage flows into the once beautiful Guaire River, which has led to its declining safety and toxicity. Streets are covered in trash, and citizens to not have enough clean water to bathe in regularly.

Venezuela has also been experiencing an increasing crime rates. Families such as the Olivero family, live in fear of the violence, for gangs and increasing violent crimes are growing in their home town of Caracas. Every night around six, the family gathers together in their home and locks the main entrance to their house. Their homes are not the most secure protection from the violence outside, for Mr. Olivero has stated to the Huffington Post that their neighbor’s roof was penetrated by a stray bullet recently.

For the Olivero family and many others, the violence does not seem to end. Venezuela’s homicide rate is the fifth highest homicide rate in the world and is 20 times higher than that of the United States. Unfortunately, RFI explains, crime within Venezuela continues as a result of the high poverty and lack of impunity, and will not come to an end until the country’s economy improves.

Venezuelan cities are also undergoing current food shortages, for store owners are unable to fill their shelves with basic goods. Anglys Bericote, a local, explains how private businesses hold on to the supplies and goods. Bericote also stated to the Huffington Post that her town has been so low on supplies, that she was unable to buy toothpaste or toilet paper for herself and her family.

Another local, Yaneth Solano, said she does not believe that the government will help the citizens of Venezuela with these current issues of violence or poverty. She believes that nothing can or will change Venezuela, for only God could help them now. As crime, food shortages, and littering continue within Venezuela, its citizens will not see improvement until the government places more focus on helping the impoverished improve their standard of living.

Grace Elizabeth Beal

Sources: The Huffington Post, BBC, RFI