VENEZUELA RISK - October 2007
ARCAYA & ASOCIADOS
Economist Intelligence Unit
Note: E=most risky; 100=most risky.
Personal security will remain a concern in the major cities. According to official statistics there were 9,402 murders in 2005. This was down on 2004, but still represented a murder rate of 35 per 100,000. The worst incidents are concentrated in poor neighbourhoods, but armed muggings, robberies and car-jackings also affect wealthier districts. Kidnapping has long been a problem in the Colombian border area; although abductions mostly affect local ranchers, foreign citizens (mainly oilworkers) have fallen victim with increasing frequency. Most recently, there have been a number of high- profile kidnappings for ransom in urban areas, a development which has prompted growing concerns over corruption and mismanagement of the police force. Street demonstrations are less frequent than at the height of political crisis in 2002-04, but when they do take place they can be violent; several fatalities have been recorded in recent years. Protests are usually localised and foreign business premises are not targets.
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