The Venezuelan government just publicly destroyed nearly 2,000 guns and wants to institute a bullet registry to try and curb the high murder rate in the country.
Nearly 2,000 guns were either crushed or torched in Caracas city square Wednesday, under order of Interior Minister Nestor Reverol, reports Business Insider. The government has also purchased “laser technology” in an effort to mark and register bullets.
“We are going to bring disarmament and peace,” Reversol said to reporters amid Wednesday’s public gun destruction, referring to a planned nationwide “disarmament effort” that will begin in September.
Authorities have taken or destroyed 17,686 guns so far this year in the ongoing effort to better track criminals and curb the murder rate. Caracas has the highest murder rate of any city in the world — 119 murders per 100,000 people — according to according to World Atlas.
Fear of an insurrection could also be behind the move.
The inflation rate in Venezuela is the world’s highest at 180 percent, reports BBC News. And that rate could hit 310 percent by the end of the year, according to Trading Economics. This extreme level of inflation has sent prices for basic goods skyrocketing and led to high levels of civil unrest.
At least 400 people were arrested in June after citizens took to looting stores for the food they could no longer afford. A dozen eggs costs $150.
The U.S. government has charged Reversol and others for being involved in a massive “international cocaine-distribution conspiracy. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently promoted Reversol to the Interior Minister position.
Venezuela has the unfortunate distinction of having three of its cities ranked in the top 10 of the list of cities with high murder rates. Maturin and Valencia are ranked five and seven respectively. A travel advisory from the State Department notes the non-governmental organization, Venezuelan Violence Observatory, says Venezuela has the second highest murder rate in the world.
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