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Venezuela to mobilize military to fight crime


09:54, May 06, 2013

CARACAS, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The Venezuelan government announced Sunday that it will fight crime in Caracas with the help of the armed forces, the Venezuelan News Agency reported.

The Defense Ministry, the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) and the Operational Strategic Command will be called to coordinate anti-crime efforts, said Venezuelan Interior Relations and Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres.

"We are going to promote citizen control and security in different parts of the city, neighborhoods and housing developments," with the help of the FANB and police, Rodriguez said in a televised interview.

The plan is currently in the pre-planning stage, he said, with officials preparing the logistics for the stationing and mobilization of the troops.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will officially announce the details of the plan, said Rodriguez.

"All components of the FANB will take part," said Rodriguez.

"Insecurity affects all of us the same way and we have in the armed forces a potential power we can use to rapidly decrease the crime rate," he said.

"I believe the FANB's presence will be an important tool that is going to provide citizens with tranquility," he added.

Venezuela has the word's fifth highest homicide rate, according to a UN crime survey, and recent post-election violence has aggravated the situation.

Maduro, late President Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor, won the April 14 presidential election with a very slight margin, and opposition leader Henrique Capriles had claimed fraud and demanded a recount. Followers of Maduro and Capriles had clashed amid street violence which led to "heavy casualties" on both sides.

Rodriguez said he expected 90 percent of Venezuelans to welcome the plan, "because we all want security."

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