Concerns continue over crime and breakdown of law and order

Two policemen are killed and four injured during a relatively small protest against the doubling of bus fares. Demonstrators apprehended a bus and drove it through police lines. The AP report says small scale protests are increasing to around 17 per day throughout the country. 

An opposition lawmaker says there are reports that 10 additional miners have gone missing in Bolivar state, following the massacre of at least 17 miners there last month. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s top soccer player, Salomon Rondon, who plays in England, says that he is never seen in public with his family when he visits Venezuela, due to fear of kidnapping and extortion. He comments, “Life in Caracas is not life… The city is in chaos.” 

Dominican authorities find a huge stash of cocaine on a plane from Venezuela. Among those arrested is the head Interpol detective in Venezuela, suspected of facilitating smuggling for a businessman. Time Magazine includes a feature on the booming smuggling trade between Venezuela and Colombia, in basic goods such as gasoline, diapers and oranges. Meanwhile, a separate report suggests that the Venezuelan border state of Zulia could become an increasingly active cocaine smuggling corridor into Colombia.