Most victims were 19-35 years old
Most victims were 19-35 years old

TODAY VENEZUELA (El Universal) According to figures disclosed by Venezuelan security authorities, murders have spiraled upward in the country.

Only in Caracas and the Metropolitan Area, 3,414 killings took place last year. This represents 380 cases more than in 2014 (3,034 murders).

The Libertador municipality of Caracas registered 2,778 homicides, for an average of seven Venezuelans murdered every day, a killing every half an hour.

Retired captain of the former Intelligence and Preventive Services Directorate (Disip) Luis Granados said high crime rates in Venezuela are due to “wrong security policies adopted by the national government. There is no political will and police bodies have less training and skills.”

Last year, 146 police agents were murdered, out of which 45 were killed in Libertador municipality.

The Bello Monte morgue

The bodies of murder victims in Caracas and the Metropolitan Area are taken to the Bello Monte morgue, including those from other towns such as Guarenas-Guatire in Miranda state, due to the health crisis that has strongly hit local hospitals, and consumables shortage.

According to unofficial figures from the Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigation Police Agency (Cicpc), 5,258 dead bodies were moved to the morgue last year.

In the last five years (from 2011 to 2015), the total of bodies taken to the morgue has increased.

Lower numbers of dead bodies were recorded in 2014 and 2015, when they stood at 5,059 and 5,258, respectively. However, this figures climbed between both years.

“There are significant elements to highlight when these peaks are shown in statistic terms. Among them, the security plans, for during operations carried out by police agents, many criminals are killed,” Granados stressed.

Over the last week of January this year, 69 dead people were taken to the morgue, out of which 15 were murdered during shootouts with police officers in Caracas.

According to Cicpc data, that weekend has been the one with most homicides so far in the last six years.

Official report

During the presentation of her office’s annual report for 2015, Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz said that last year 17,778 murders took place in the country, with a rate of 58 in every 100,000 inhabitants. She described this fact as “very serious” in criminal matters.

However, these figures differ from those unofficially provided by Cicpc authorities, which stated there were 22,748 killings in 2015 in Venezuela.

To this numbers they did not add the deaths described as caused by “resistance to authority” and “death investigation.”

Translated by Alejandro Bustamante

Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.