World Bulletin / News Desk
In the Venezuelan capital, the highest murder rates are concentrated in the poorest areas: Sucre, where Petare is located, and Libertador, in the center west.
Most of the victims are young men and the deaths are usually caused by readily available guns.
Nelly Larco works at Sucre Town Hall and is a communal leader in the El Dorado sector in Petare.
In an interview she said the country’s economic crisis helped explain the recruitment of young people into gangs and other armed groups.
“More than insecurity, the main problem is the difficulty to get food,” she said.
“That is not just a problem in Petare, but all over the country. Their incomes are not high enough to buy imported food -- the only kind that you can find.”
According to the opposition-led Congress last month, inflation currently stands at just under 250 percent for the first seven months of the year.
“Why would a young man go to work if he knows that the money he will earn is not enough for anything?” she asked. “What hope can a recent graduate in a country like this one have?”
Easy money, fashion, drugs, status and power results in many of the youth in this neighborhood emerging either as victims or perpetrators of violent crime.