Crime prevention is a hot-button issue in Venezuela, where nearly three times as many deaths as in Iraq occurred in 2009.
• A version of this post ran on the author's site, insightcrime.org. The views expressed are the author's own.
Citizen security is sure to be a key issue in the upcoming October presidential elections in Venezuela, but while the opposition will likely challenge President Hugo Chavez’s crime policies, their candidate’s record isn’t much better.
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Venezuela’s Coalition for Democratic Unity (MUD) held their first-ever presidential primary Sunday, with Henrique Capriles Radonski beating his four opponents in a landslide, taking 62 percent of the vote. Capriles, governor of Miranda state, is now gearing up for an eight month assault on Chavez in the lead up to the Oct. 7 elections. One of the hot-button issues over which the two are likely to square off is crime prevention. Venezuela saw a record number of homicides in 2011, and the level of kidnappings (in Spanish) and robberies has surged in recent years.
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