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“Lynching Epidemic” Breaks Out In Venezuela

from ZeroHedge:

The public-safety infrastructure in Venezuela has been degraded to such a degree that citizens now take justice into their own hands. Agence France Presse reported that lynchings have risen sharply over the last year and a half as political and economic instability in the crumbling socialist republic has worsened. Witnesses who spoke to AFP said a 22-year-old man who was set on fire at an anti-government demonstration in May was actually lynched after being accused of stealing by the crowd – not because he was a government sympathizer, as President Nicolas Maduro had suggested at the time.

As AFP alleges, “it is not just the country’s economy and political system that are sick, but society itself, experts say. An epidemic of lynchings is one of the most gruesome symptoms.”

The OVCS says some 60 people were recorded as killed in lynchings in the first five months of this year alone. Last year there were 126 such killings — a surge from the 20 reported in the previous year, coinciding with the worsening of political tensions and economic chaos.

“Their aim is to kill the person before the police arrive,” says Marco Ponce, coordinator of the Venezuelan Social Conflict Observatory (OVCS).

In lynchings, citizens let out their anger in the face of a state that is not defending their right to justice,” says Ponce.

“They think they are dispensing justice, and they do so with anger, so they go as far as killing the person.”

Residents blame the breakdown in social order that’s resulted from Venezuela’s worsening economic crisis. In the capital Caracas, the army and police are focused on brutally suppressing the street protests that have become a daily occurrence in recent months. Meanwhile, the dire financial straits of the country’s residents, who are struggling with inflation rates as high as 10,000%, have caused crime to skyrocket.

AFP journalists witness one incident on a street in Caracas where a mob attacked a man after passers-by caught him stealing.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

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