Crime worries increase, health situation deteriorates

28 gold miners in the remote state of Bolivar go missing and are widely thought to have been killed by a criminal gang in a dispute over gold. Venezuelan authorities are said to be investigating. However, opposition leaders accuse the government of a deliberate cover-up, to help mask the extent of crime. Meanwhile, a new Venezuelan military company is to start working with the state oil company PDVSA very soon, to protect its oil fields and installations, in order to ease the security concerns of foreign companies operating there. 

A feature in Foreign Policy magazine on Venezuela’s collapsing health system, titled “Getting sick in Venezuela has become a death sentence,” says that nearly 70 per cent of surgical wards in public hospitals are inactive. Meanwhile, an NPR report says that the government is downplaying the spread and impact of the Zika virus, as the country’s medical supplies and healthcare are in dire shape. AP reports that Venezuelans are gathering in large numbers each day at the Colombian border, in order to receive vital medical care, as the Venezuelan health system collapses. However, only a handful are allowed into Colombia each day in a largely anarchic border system.