I might be writing about crime here a little more frequently than I have in the past. On Friday I described my encounter with attempted armed robbery and I haven’t been able to move past it yet.
I have been shown various videos of violent robberies that have happened in Venezuela. I always assumed that these things happened at night, in dangerous areas, to people who had more money, people who were flashing their valuables (like phones, money, jewelry), or somehow being stupid.
I didn’t think it would happen in broad daylight.
In the middle of rush hour traffic.
In the CENTER of an intersection.
But it happened to me.
Here are some videos and information that I found online about violence in Venezuela:
This blog predicts that Venezuela will only see more violent crimes being committed until changes are made: http://blog.willis.com/2014/10/security-situation-in-venezuela-continues-to-deteriorate/
Here is a very concise page comparing Venezuela to the US on the topic of crime: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/United-States/Venezuela/Crime
One of the reasons that I’m so shaken up is that it could have been so much worse for me since I resisted the robbery. Here is an article about a British man who was murdered for resisting a robbery: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jul/20/thomas-ossel-killed-venezuela-hotel.
Many people heard about the ex- Miss Venezuela getting murdered last January in the state of Carabobo (where I live): http://world.time.com/2014/01/07/ex-miss-venezuela-shot-dead-in-roadside-robbery/
According to this article in CNN, one person is killed every 21 minutes in Venezuela. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/07/world/americas/monica-spear-venezuela-beauty-queen-killed/index.html
Forbe’s says that the murder rate in Caracas is 30 times higher than NYC: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanielparishflannery/2014/01/08/in-the-spotlight-violent-crime-in-venezuela/
Armed vehicular theft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEt3v6nAzPA
Most apartments have gated parking garages like this one, and look how easy it was for this woman to be robbed! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR3PHwOLaFk (the action starts at about the 3 min mark).
I’m happy my friends talked me out of getting a motorcycle last year, because they only take seconds to steal while driving down the street: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaUnE7wiX8g
Then of course there were the protests last February, which I was shielded from since I was living in sleepy Ciudad Ojeda at the time. Here is a video of some robberies that took place at that time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4dHdxFUMZA
I don’t like guns, but my brother who was in the army suggested that I do what this man did and fight back (warning: very violent): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqpTdV1lv1E
On the US Gov Travel website I see an advisory stating that people should travel in groups of two or more, lock your doors, and to be aware that carjackings are common in Venezuela: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/venezuela-travel-warning.html
Well, after doing all this research, I don’t feel any better. I will definitely be staying through the end of this school year, and I had planned on staying for four more years, but at this point I don’t feel safe or calm enough to make a decision about it. I kinda think that if I can make it through one year at my school than I should stay a second year so it looks better on my resume…and if I can do that, then why don’t I just stay as long as I planned.
Ah, who knows what the future holds.
Send some good energy my way please!
Are there any other adventurous/crazy teachers like me who live in dangerous areas? What motivates you to stay? How do you convince yourself and your family that you will be safe after you have been involved in a crime of some sort?