Security & Strategic Review - August 2021

VENEZUELA: Caracas brought to a standstill by gang violence

Gunshots and explosions rang out almost incessantly over large swathes of western Caracas between 8 and 10 July, as parts of the Venezuelan capital were brought to a halt by an eruption of gang violence that lasted nearly 72 hours. The episode has been intensely politicised, with a leading opposition figure, Freddy Guevara, arrested for allegedly playing a role in the violence. The opposition maintains that the unrest is being used to justify a political crackdown and blames the government’s controversial policy of ‘peace zones’ for allowing criminal groups to gain immense power in Caracas.

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