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Venezuelan NGO counts 1,026 murdered children in 2015

Venezuelan Association of Learning Community Centers (Cecodap) reports 6,455 violent events against children and teenagers

 

Vicente Correale

  • JULIO MATERANO

22 de abril de 2016 23:59 PM

Actualizado el 23 de abril de 2016 06:57 AM

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Venezuelan NGO counts 1,026 murdered children in 2015

Venezuelan Association of Learning Community Centers (Cecodap) reports 6,455 violent events against children and teenagers

According to human rights activists, over the last few years, violence against children has skyrocketed without showing signs of being refrained. In 2015 only, 1,026 minors were killed, including 174 teenagers and three children under 12 years old, out of abuse of enforcement authorities, an increase of 40%.

In its 2015 report, Venezuelan Association of Learning Community Centers (Cecodap) highlighted that 6,455 minors were victims of violence across the country, 18% higher than 2014 numbers (the rights of 5,456  young people were violated).   

“Only in the Greater Caracas, 62 minors have been killed as a result of violence, thus far in 2016. The most recent case was a 13-year-old child killed by hit men when he was returning home. His mother found the dead body inside their dwell, located in the upper part of 24 de Julio neighborhood in Petare (Sucre Municipality, Miranda State, west Caracas),” Cecodap remarks.

Furthermore, Cecodap, in its most recent study, recorded 750 murders due to social violence, 41 deceased by family violence, 32 deaths by accidental shots, 24 over sexual violence and two killed at schools. For human rights activists, these numbers are dangerous, because they summarize stories of insecurity, a lack of institutionalism and of government policies to curb scourge devouring the most vulnerable sector of the population.  

Social violence is the first cause of death in this population, representing 73% of homicides. General Coordinator of Cecodap (organization that aims to protect children and teenagers), Fernando Pereira, states that this is the most frequent type of violence. According to him, it is due to insecurity and crime. “Robbery, stray bullets and insecurity are the cause of these victims’ death,” he adds.

 “A new phenomenon is introduced by teachers, namely: school absenteeism from students, who leave academic activities in order to wait in lines to buy basic products. Furthermore, many institutions have interrupted the School Food Service (SAE) and also have water and electricity failures. Besides, there is a reduction of transportation means.”

Compared to 2014, where 912 children were murdered, in 2015, homicides of minors skyrocketed 12.5%. Across the Venezuelan territory, only three states represent 47% of deaths, namely: Miranda, which has the majority of cases (18%), Carabobo (15%) and Aragua (14%). 

According to Cecodap’s study: “Homicides are the greatest representation of social violence in boys,” which totaled 91% (or 750) out of the total number of victims.

Statistics reveal that social and school environments are the most affected by violence, for a total of 2,534 and 1,671 impacted children, respectively. Marta Millán, an educational psychologists that teaches in Antímano (west Caracas) and La Pedrera (west Caracas), fears that students have very few options to circumvent violent actions.

The other side

Moreover, Cecodap dwells on the other side of the problem: Children and teenagers play the role of attackers and become aggression agents. Statistics highlight that 2,978 minors were involved in crimes, including 39% in robberies; 8.83% in drug trafficking, and 8.53% in homicides and others carried guns.

 “Out of 177 minors who died after the attacks of enforcement authorities, 69% of deaths were designated as clashes; 10.62% by police execution, 9.16% by abuse of authority, 4.76% by the Peoples’ Liberation Operation (OLP) and 2.56% of minors died when confused by another person.”

Cecodap, whose goal is to protect human rights of children and teenagers, stresses that 538 minors are victims of violence, 86 are murdered and 17 are killed by police officers. Three minors are murdered by their relatives and 248 teenagers are involved in felonies. For this research, Cecodap analyzed 15,398 articles published in 34 newspapers. 

Translated by Karen Daza

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