What is the government's stance on violence? That is the question that is being asked in Venezuela, where the body count continues to rise. As reported in a recent New York Times article, the government's reaction to a front-page photograph in the paper, El Nacional, seemed to indicate that the government is more concerned over a gory image of violence than the violence itself. According to the article, some critics believe that the Venezuelan government is worsening the problem, rather than attempting to fix it as the government claims.
If Venezuela's government were more democratic, would that help with some of the violence? That is a question taken up by the contributors of Violent Democracies in Latin America (edited by Enrique Desmond Arias and Daniel M. Goldstein). The collection explores how individuals and institutions in contemporary Latin American democracies use violence to impose and contest notions of order, rights, citizenship, and justice. Is Venezuela, then, that much different from its other Latin American counterparts? Pick up a copy of Violent Democracies in Latin America and compare for yourself.