Caracas district sees 21 percent drop in murders

A violent neighborhood in east Caracas with one of the highest crime rates in Venezuela and Latin America saw a 21 percent drop in murders in February compared to a year earlier, the town's new mayor said Thursday.
Carlos Ocariz, elected to lead the Petare neighborhood in November, admitted that much more is required to secure public roads, for citizens to travel without fear. But he championed progress in his crime fight, citing police figures that show 45 violent deaths last month compared to 56 in February 2008.

Caracas district sees 21 percent drop in murders
As part of his crime reduction measures Ocariz multiplied the number of police patrols eight-fold and boosted officer salaries. He also called on citizens to disarm -- a request welcomed by hundreds of local residents who dumped firearms at the mayor office's doorstep.
Venezuela ended 2008 with some 14,000 murders overall, amounting to 50 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, according to a Venezuelan NGO that monitors crime in the South American nation.
Image of Caracas, from

Friday, March 6th 2009

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