The spiral of violence that shakes Caracas intensifies.
During the month of July, 535 corpses, victims of violent deaths, arrived at the headquarters of the Forensics Laboratory of Caracas, according to data provided by anonymous sources to Venezuelan journalists.
The release of such information was made anonymously after the government condemned the publication of official homicide figures in 2005.
The statistics show that July is the most violent month in the metropolitan area during the last two years, as per the data supplied by sources in the morgue.
The data reveals that, only during the last weekend, the morgue received 43 bodies. In June, the total was 500 bodies.
With these figures, Caracas is confirmed as the most violent city in the world, after overcoming San Pedro Sula, the Honduran capital, in 2015, according to the Citizen Council for Public Safety, an NGO based in Mexico.
Caracas suffers119 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants a year, compared to 111 in the Honduran city. San Pedro Sula had topped this ranking for the last four years.
Since 2005 the Venezuelan government banned the dissemination of crime figures in the country, which until then were made public through a weekly newsletter issued by the judicial police.
The measure attempted to shut down the supply of information to the media in an effort to avoid harming the Chavez regime.
Insecurity has been for many years one of the main issues of concern in Venezuela, along with Honduras and El Salvador, countries that for years led the international ranking of violence.
President Hugo Chavez himself came to attribute the prominence of the issue in opinion polls to what he called a “sense of insecurity” fueled by the press for political purposes.
In an interview in 2013 the newspaper El Nacional of Caracas, the then Minister of Interior and Justice, General Miguel Rodriguez Torres, admitted the existence of the official news blackout, which, according to his statements, he proposed attempted to change. “I told [President Maduro] that at some point you have to start giving numbers.”
From that year, journalists have been forced to report crimes and crime statistics from leaks, conversations with relatives of the deceased or the simple counting of corpses at the gates of the main morgue in Caracas, an old building in the southeast of the city.
The conflict between the press and the police has increased as the government has erected a fence with barbed wire around the perimeter of the headquarters of the morgue.
The fence prevents access of journalists to the site while police attempt to keep them away from relatives who wait for news outside the morgue.
On Wednesday, a handful of journalists close to police sources unfurled a banner outside the morgue in protest at the new restrictions.