The continued decline of Venezuela has been one of the most persistent news stories of the past two years. At this point, the Latin American country is all but a failed state, and the violence and suffering there represents one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises. And in a year like 2016, that’s saying something.
A new report shows the devastation is recording-breaking. The number of killings in Venezuela have risen to 28,479 this year, according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory. Not only is that the highest number ever recorded in the country, but the report claims that number represents 91.8 of every 100,000 Venezuelans have been killed. That devastating number makes Venezuela the second most violent non-war zone in the world, with only El Salvador remaining more dangerous.
In some kind of response, the Venezuelan government is now using its military to try to restore order. But the Times article suggests that these efforts are making everything worse. Venezuelan political scientist Margarita López Maya told the paper: “It has become more militaristic and more repressive. Anyone can be caught.” She says the victims of these crackdowns are often the civilians who needed protection in the first place. She continued: “We are walking on the path to a failed state. It will come to a point where no one is in control.”
How you can help.
What makes the situation in Venezuela particularly difficult is that the socialist government blocks most foreign aid, so helping the people there isn’t easy. But for those who want to give, there are a couple organizations working to make a difference:
According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 13,000 Americans were killed by gun violence in 2015. Now, David Oyelowo is doing something about it. The Oscar-nominated actor will produce and star in the upcoming film adaptation of the book Another Day in the Death of America. For the non-fiction book (which hits shelves this fall), investigative journalist Gary Younge visited the families of 10 children who were killed by guns on a randomly selected day in 2013. Read More
A police officer on the ground told Reuters that a suicide car bomb blew up on a commercial street and killed 17 people and wounded more than 50. In addition, a man strapped with explosives blew himself up just north of Baghdad, which killed seven soldiers and wounded more than 20, according to the report.
Some experts seem to think that ISIS is getting desperate as its one-time stronghold on nearby Fallujah is slipping.
According to a report by Reuters, Iraqi forces launched an offensive against Fallujah late in May. They’ve now completely surrounded the city. And yesterday, troops began the process of closing in on the ISIS-controlled area.
While experts are saying that a recovery of Fallujah will most likely take some time, it now appears inevitable—as does the recovery of other ISIS territories.