July 8, 2008 (ABN/venezuelanalysis.com)—Venezuela’s murder rate dropped 27% in the first half of 2008, relative to the same period of the previous year, said Venezuela’s Minister for the Interior and Justice, Ramón Rodriguez Chacín yesterday. Meanwhile, the amount of smuggled drugs that were confiscated in this same period rose by 9%, from 26.3 tons to 28.7 tons.
According to Minister Rodriguez Chacín, the reduction in the murder statistic is the result of new policing measures the government has adopted in the past six months. These measures included regular meetings that were held between ministry representatives, police officials, and community members.
“We have reorganized the work [of security officials], we have increased effort, in accordance with the directives of President Chavez,” said Rodriguez Chacín during a press conference on Monday.
Colonel Nestor Reverol Torres, the director of the National Anti-Drug Office, presented the number for the drug interdictions, explaining that the volume of drugs confiscated in the first half of 2008 increased by 2.4 metric tons, to 28.7. Also, 3,657 persons were arrested for drug trafficking activity in that time period, which represents 250% more arrests than in the first half of 2007.
Reverol also explained that “Operation Hole,” which was launched to destroy clandestine drug trafficking airstrips, succeeded in destroying 157 in the state of Apure, 13 in Falcón state, and 17 in Anzoátegui and Monagas.