Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Violence Tarnishes Venezuelan Presidential Race

One of the main issues in the Venezuelan presidential election has been the nationwide increase in crime.  Recently, however, politically motivated violence has caught the attention of Venezuelans.

Over the weekend at least three supporters of presidential candidate Henrique Capriles including two opposition politicians were shot and killed while riding in a campaign caravan.

 “We’re going to defeat violence in Venezuela,” Capriles said at a massive campaign rally on Sunday where he also mentioned that the deaths should “never have happened.”

Incumbent president Hugo Chavez vowed that the perpetrators would be brought to justice while Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami claimed that police were investigating the act of violence.

The shooting in Chavez’ home state of Barinas wasn’t the only example of campaign violence to occur over the past few days. The campaign manager of an opposition candidate in Anzo√°tegui state denounced alleged that their offices were ransacked in a supposed “act of desperation.”

The video below the page break shows an incident that occurred about two weeks ago in the town of Puerto Cabello.   In what may be seen as an ideal metaphor for Venezuela’s political divisions, Chavez backers and Capriles supporters face off on opposite sides of a highway before violence erupted:

Video Source– YouTube via user Elespectadorcom

Online Sources – BBC News, Al Jazeera English, VOXXI, El-Nacional.com

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