With high crime rates being a top issue for Venezuelans, Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami told reporters that Venezuela’s National Security University, (UNES) would expand significantly because of the new anti-crime social program that was announced by President Hugo Chavez last week.
UNES, a police university founded in 2009 for training Venezuela’s police officers to be more engaged in the community is expected to have 13,000 cadets enrolled in its police trainee program next year. Currently construction is underway on six new campuses throughout Venezuela and six more are in development.
Last year, Venezuela had 14,000 murders and many cite police corruption as a factor for this high number. Police officers on average make between 100 to 550 dollars a month. The government’s goal is to have all 92,000 police officers in Venezuela go through the UNES. Part of the training process includes history, sociology and political classes. Wage increases however will stay the same for the time being.
These reforms are part of the new anti-crime social program that President Chavez introduced last week. The main component of the program is expanding the new Bolivarian National Police service into seven new states
The Chavez government has set aside 1.9 billion dollars for the program’s first year of implementation. The social program will focus on the 79 municipalities with the highest crime rates in the country.
Extra note by Venezuelanalysis: The cited figure in the video that police in Venezuela are paid US $100 to $550 per month is incongruent with the fact that the minimum wage in Venezuela, on the official exchange rate, is US $414 (1,780 bolivars) per month plus benefits. This will rise to US $476 (2,048 bolivars) in September.