New Anti-Crime Effort Disbands 36 Criminal Gangs in Venezuela in One Week

As a display of increased security measures implemented in Venezuela, thirty-six criminal gangs were disbanded by police and military forces last week in the state of Miranda and the capital city of Caracas.


The announcement came last Sunday during a press conference held in the capital by members of the security forces that comprise the government’s Bicentennial Security Deployment (Dibise) plan which went into effect last March.

“We are carrying out security measures that have shown positive results”, said Abdon Matheus, commander of the Strategic Region of Integrated Defense (Redi), which forms part of the Dibise plan.

Dibise is the government’s response to the problems of violent crime and insecurity that have plagued the nation in recent years. The program is the result of a nationwide consultation process that took place during 2006 and included widespread community participation.

Since March, the plan has been put into effect in 36 municipalities in the country where 75% of all crime and 78% of all homicides are concentrated. According to Matheus, the anti-crime program “shows that we can work together in a coordinated and concrete way for the benefit and security of the general citizenry”.

Community Efforts

In the area around the capital, Dibise has deployed 1,000 military police working in collaboration with Bolivarian militias to aid communities in cracking down on criminal activity.

This comes in addition to efforts carried out by the new National Bolivarian Police force, which has been effective in reducing violent crime in the capital.

In a report given to the Venezuelan congress in July, the head of the National Bolivarian Police, Luis Fernandez, stated that homicides in the Caracas neighborhood of Catia had been reduced by 60% owing to the force’s efforts in the zone.

General Antonio Benavides, representative of the National Guard’s 5th Regional Command, stated during the press conference on Sunday that some 631 arrests were made for crimes committed in the capital region last week.

According to members of Dibise, a major component of the plan’s effectiveness continues to be community involvement and grassroots outreach.

Last week approximately 300 meetings and workshops were held with different community groups to educate neighbors on crime prevention and ways to collaborate with law enforcement agencies.

Communications lines have been established to facilitate the reporting of criminal activity via the use of the phone number 645 and a twitter account created by Dibise.

Last week 77 firearms were seized in Caracas and a total of 250 were confiscated on a national level.

In a further security development on Monday, Interior and Justice Minister, Tareck El Aissami announced that twelve new patrols and 700 officers will be deployed in the central states of Carabobo and Aragua.

Speaking during a visit to a National Guard barracks in the state of Carabobo, El Aissami highlighted the fact that since Dibise began its work in the state, positive results have been evident.

“In [the cities of] Valencia, Guacara, Puerto Cabello and [the municipality of] Libertador, there has been a 20% reduction in crime”.