Caracas, Venezuela has become one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Hundreds of violent homicides occur every week in all sectors of the city, affecting citizens from all walks of life. While the whole city is considered a "zona roja"--red zone--the murders take place overwhelmingly in the barrios, the enormous slums that ring the city, teetering on the edge of landslide-prone mountains.
These areas are run by a multitude of small gangs, made up largely of young men and often children. The police who patrol the slums do not wear tactical gear or carry machine guns, but still conduct foot patrols into the serpentine alleyways in search of guns and drugs. They walk nervously through the darkened streets with their pistols drawn, but at night return to their homes in nearby barrios. The socialist government that runs Venezuela has had little success curbing the rising violence in the country, and is loathe to follow the example of Rio de Janeiro and try to pacify the barrios with militarized police, as most of the slum residents are supporters of former president Hugo Chavez and his movement.
As the economy in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, the violence has only gotten worse. In 2016, Caracas was named the most violent city on the planet for boasting the highest per-capita homicide rate in the world.