Crisis, Crime and Security
The fact is that the crisis and survival in Venezuela is something difficult to explain. Something to be expected is that crime would be unleashed in one way or another in the country. According to official statistics and what my own eyes have seen it is true. Everything has gotten worse on this topic. Normally people are robbed of objects such as cell phones, laptops, money, gold or silver garments and even complete vehicles in organized bands.
It makes me angry to remember that a year ago I had a telephone. It was nothing special but I had a cell phone with which I communicated with my mother and relatives, and it had important things despite me being just a teenager. I had the habit of putting my cell phone in my pocket, something that can not be done here in Venezuela and that I will never do again ever in my life. Putting the cell phone in your pocket marks the shape of it, allowing thieves to see the existence of your cell phone. That way they can mark you as a target and steal it easily. My mistake was the following; I went through the same place I spend every day in my city, the passenger terminal to get to my house. Suddenly I see someone who comes towards me and puts his arm on my shoulder as if we were lifelong friends (They do it in that way so that they can steal it quietly without anyone noticing) I knew that I did not know the person and I pushed his arm off looking at him with anger and confusion. I still did not know what was coming.
The man looked at me with annoyance, and in a disguised way he raised his shirt leaving to show a white weapon, to be specific a razor. I was scared I can tell you for sure, at that very moment I thought I would die right there. I thought I was going to be stabbed in front of everyone. But he didn’t, the man again put his hand on my shoulder and said “Let’s go over there and get to know you”. He asked me different questions regarding the cell phone as to what it was, and who the chip belonged to. At the end he told me that I had to give him the cell phone and I had no choice but to give it to him. It was that, or risk my life.
Knowing the people here, that man was not alone; When I was walking I confess that I felt like they were looking at me, but I did not pay attention. Sometimes people give you a bad vibe and any kind of doubt that it is not an ordinary person I would have continued another way. What I want to say, is that you can not get a phone to answer a call quietly, nor can you replace a silver ring won in a graduation or something like that.
Living in a country in crisis like the one that visits Venezuela encourages many people to steal, and those who did it before doing so with greater occurrence.
About 3 or 4 months ago they murdered a neighbor in my town to steal his car. According to the people who were near the place, the people approached on motorbikes with an armed hand to ask for the vehicle during one of those dangerous and long gas lines that are now in my city. The man obviously refused to hand it over. The thieves and murderers replied with 3 bullets to the chest in front of everyone at 3 or 4 in the afternoon.
Many people like me have adopted techniques with which we can prevent these type of people from approaching to steal our belongings. Speaking of big robberies that I experienced a long time ago, they robbed my house. We had gone to a place far from my home, my mother and me. Leaving our house alone; It should be noted that we did not have good protection for things like this that happened previously and I will explain in another article. The people who robbed us left us with nothing. Everything was stolen, from televisions, computers, laptops, telephones, chargers, internet modems, routers, chairs and some tables. They split mirrors, broke toothbrushes and plates. As a result of that, to this day my mother and I are trying to fix our home and replace stolen goods. We live humbly but we want to live well; at this moment we have 2 glass plates only, the rest are cups that people have given us because they feel bad about our situation. I remember when I arrived at my house the feeling of sadness and depression that took over my body, I felt like there was hot air in my stomach or a vacuum when I saw that we had lost everything. Again; in a crisis surviving, and now worse. Because we did not have much, and now we have absolutely nothing.
Since that happened in my locality, specific security posts have been placed among the locals; Fighting education has been given to many of the people who live here including children and adolescents. In addition, many of the houses are kept armed, either with guns, rifles, bats and knives. I think this is necessary and I have noticed in a crisis the most important thing is to be armed for any situation. To survive, for our own security, of our family and our loved ones.
To be in a crisis is to be in paranoia about if something will happen, and most importantly if we will be protected. That is the important thing. Despite all the best wishes it isn’t always possible to get the best weapons. Weapons can be very weak and in some cases almost useless. It’s like comparing a thief or corrupt policeman armed with a rifle to a civilian armed with a knife or machete. When trying to approach or protect himself, he would be shot in the head leaving him to die.
It should be noted that it is true that older people and vulnerable people do not have the possibility of carrying arms. My family currently consists of my mother, my 16 year old brother (who did not live with us until recently) and me. We do not have weapons. We are one of the few unarmed people in the city. Or at least in our locality.
The police allow the use of weapons without any license or anything of the sort, only sometimes they come to ask for bribes so as not to take their weapons and put them away. This country is the kingdom of thieves; of illegality.
If someone causes you to kill another for no reason, could I do it? I could do it if I had to; as long as nobody knows. The police with a simple bribe would leave the attacker free if he had the money they asked for.
Normally there are still honest policemen in Venezuela but you could say that it is very rare to find them and especially to get them to do the right thing. The important thing and what my community does with regards to robberies and other crimes is that they installed certain security positions. People also help each other; armed in some way or another they are protected. That is good in a crisis. Support one another.
So in my final reflection on this article it would be: Do you arm yourself, or do you die?