And today we got the new, very sad figures on murder in Carabobo. 187 people were killed in a region of about 2 million inhabitants.
Salas Feo, the governor elected, has a very difficult task ahead as his powers to improve this will be extremely limited. Hugo Chávez is taking over almost all the powers from the regions (just one tiny example here, in Spanish).
Expect anyway a rise to over 230 murders for next month. It is Christmas time.
I will analyse the trends per municipality in a couple of weeks and try to determine patterns and reasons for all this mess and I will try to propose possible solutions.
For now just this: the distribution of those 187 per municipio within Carabobo can be seen below. Valencia is a huge municipio, with around half of the total population of the state. Although it registers the highest amount of murders, the ratio is lower. Most murders in Valencia take place in the poor South.
The most lethal region in Carabobo seems to be Libertador. The municipio Libertador has a population that is well below that of Municipio San Diego (not rich but rather middle to poor area controlled by the opposition) and yet you can see the difference.
It is a pity: the municipio that carries the name of the ideolized title of Simón Bolívar has the highest murder rate. It is also a municipio with an environmental disaster in the making: the huge rubbish deport of Cuásima. Almost everything people want to throw away in Carabob is placed there and just burnt, the rest sickers to the underground and to the underwater system of the region.
Number of people murdered per municipality in November 2008 in Carabobo (CICP, Notitarde):
Miguel Pena in Valencia and the Northeastern part of Libertador are the places with particularly high concentrations of murders. Los Guayos, the most densely populated area in Carabobo, also has a very high rate. All in all, Carabobo is one of the most dangerous places in Latin America, together with Caracas and...well, and the rest of Venezuela. Mexico is very dangerous. Colombia as well. Brazil too. But the rise hast been higher in Venezuela.