Venezuelan social order collapsing as looting, robbery and murder become the norm

The socialist revolution in Venezuela has resulted in a country with sky-high inflation, no medicine, no food and, finally, no security. The Los Angeles Times has an excellent piece on the rise of robbery, kidnapping and murder that have made the nation a place where dead bodies in the street are a common sight:

Savvy motorists avoid certain thoroughfares after dark, when carjack gangs set up ambushes, sometimes laying down nail-embedded strips to puncture tires of vehicles ferrying potential quarry.  Motorists speak matter-of-factly of spotting body parts along roadways.

The exact murder rate in Venezuela is a subject of debate but an outside group puts the number at 27,875 murders in 2015, which works out to 90 per every 100,000 people. And because most of the murderers are never arrested, much less convicted, many have given up on the police. Some Venezuelans are resorting to gruesome revenge attacks on those they believe responsible:

In a country where most perpetrators are never found, mobs are increasingly launching impromptu revenge attacks, often dousing suspected muggers with gasoline and setting them alight — inevitably  targeting the innocent by mistake at times. There have been 74 possible lynchings this year, according to authorities.

With the streets to dangerous to travel by night, many businesses now close early:

“The police still make their rounds, but we have been robbed three times,” said Carlos Castillo, 47, owner of a bar-restaurant in Chacaito, a mostly middle-class district in eastern Caracas.

Once open until 11 each evening, the establishment now closes at 7 p.m., a common scenario here.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports people desperate for food are resorting to looting. Reuters reports that one woman looter was shot in the face by a police officer today:

Relatives of hotel worker Jenny Ortiz, 42, said she died in hospital after being shot during the melee late on Sunday in San Cristobal, a town near the border of Colombia, where looting and antigovernment protests have occurred in recent months.

Family including her mother-in-law Carmen Rosa, 58, who said she saw the incident, alleged that a policeman shot Ortiz.

Again, this is not a 20-something looting an electronics store. This is a middle-aged woman in a crowd of hundreds who is desperate to find food. People are close to panic and the ruling socialist government has done nothing but blame the misery on an economic conspiracy theory involving the United States.