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Top Secret: Venezuela’s Rising Crime

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Venezuela's rising crime is now a government secret.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Despite the authoritarian streak of President Hugo Chavez, both petty and organized crime are seeing a boom in Venezuela, experts say.

"Venezuela is probably the only country in the region where there has been a steady deterioration in the security situation, says Daniel Linsker, a Latin America analyst at London-based Control Risks Group.

Venezuela was ranked among the four most dangerous countries on the Latin Security Index developed by Holder International for Latin Business Chronicle.

"A number of international criminal groups are moving ... there with a certain impunity in addition to general public insecurity and kidnappings increasing dramatically," says Frank Holder, founder of Holder International and a senior managing director of FTI Consulting.

Venezuela last year had a homicide rate of 32.56 per 100,000 people, an increase from...

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