The World’s Murder Capital

The World’s Murder Capital

The streets are safer in Baghdad than in Caracas, Venezuela, where the soaring homicide toll is a blemish on the revolutionary government that promised reform. (NYT)

This disturbing video from the New York Times begins with grisly images of men and women bleeding from knife and gunshot wounds in a Caracas hospital emergency room, and doesn’t let up from there. As a doctor at the scene describes it, a large number of seriously injured patients is the norm on a typical day in the city — one of the most violent in the world. Although the camera follows police patrolling an infamous slum with guns drawn, no one there believes that the Hugo Chavez government has anything like control of the situation. The murder rate in Caracas, for example, is a shocking one out of every 500 people, and 90% of them go unsolved.

Authorities point out that policemen trained by advisors from Cuba have succeeded in reducing crime in some neighborhoods, but street violence continues to escalate citywide. The socialist government blames the disparity between the rich and poor in the country for the problem, but appears to be more interested in covering up the situation by banning violent photos in the newspaper than actually cleaning up pervasive police incompetence and corruption. Families are seen mourning their dead and despairing for the fate of the living in a worsening circumstance that no one can fully explain.

This video coverage is distinguished by both its visual access to the “front lines” – and its journalistic inquiries into the tense situation.

CHANNEL: New York Times

Length: 4:33

By Simon Romero, Anahi Aradas and Brent McDonald
Photography by Meredith Kohut