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Increased violence against minors reported in Venezuela

Three teenagers were murdered in mid-March

Hubo dos muertes violentas en menos de 24 horas en Macarao

Experts claim that the current situation facing Venezuela also lashes children and teenagers (Oswer Díaz Mireles)

25 de marzo de 2016 23:59 PM


Increased violence against minors reported in Venezuela

A rise in violent acts -including frequency and intensity- against minors in Venezuela was reported by organizations in charge of protecting human rights of children and teenagers.

In fact, on March 15-18, three minors were murdered: one during an alleged shootout with police officers; other was kidnapped and killed; and a third one was mistreated and molested by his stepfather. Add to this the case of a two-month old baby who was left under a bridge by his own 18-year old mother.

Carlos Trapani, a representative from the Network of Children and Teenagers' Human Rights of NGO Community Centers of Learning (Cecodap), warned that “nowadays, there is much violence and cruelty against minors.” In his words, this shows the risk facing childhood and adolescence in the country.

“The intensity and seriousness of the actions against minors is worrisome. It seems to be a consequence of us living in a society which is deeply hurt, sick, despaired and neglected due to a situation hitting us and due to the lack of policies or actions promoting mental health. Families lacking the means to channel their frustrations are those currently in danger,” Trapani said.

He further stressed that this situation should compel relevant authorities to map out action plans to face the effects of the crisis Venezuelans are going through.

However, Trapani added that not everything is in the hands of the State. “It is necessary to act responsibly; all citizens must take on their own responsibility to build an honorable society, committed to others. We, as citizens, must have a space; we must work for the country we want.

The human rights advocate explained that “the issue is that the current situation is a consequence of the lack of actions to face the warnings already issued. This has resulted in a snow-ball effect which ended up hitting the Venezuelan society.”

“The most serious thing is that we do not know the scope of the problem for sure, because since 2015 we have not had official figures available on violence against children and teenagers,” Trapani pointed out as he recalled that Cecodap reports are based on hemerographic research limited by the journalistic coverage. “Events that have not been reported by the press do not appear in those documents; we have a significant sub record in this matter.”

Translated by Alejandro Bustamante

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