27 September 2010

Venezuela Racked By Violence

The print copy of the Denver Post today (page 2A), in a story I couldn't find on their website, noted that Venezuela, which has parliamentary elections today, has had four times as many violent deaths as Iraq in the last year, despite having about the same population (about 16,000 in Venezuela and about 4,000 in Iraq).

This echos the wave of drug cartel related murders in Mexico, although it appears at first glance that the causes are different.

The story also makes me wonder if statistics on global terrorism deaths, because a terrorism designation is political and subjective, are really as useful as statistics on global homicides whatever the motive. In theory, the two are distinguishable. But, when a death body of a person who has been killed is discovered, it isn't always obvious what motivated the killer. When one introduces concepts like "nacro-terrorist" into the equation, the distinction between murder and terrorism can become particularly vexing.

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