Robert Muggah is the Research Director of the Igarapé Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Director of Research and Policy for the SecDev Foundation and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Fragility, Conflict and Violence.
Commentary: Many people undercount the overall economic burden of gun violence. Add to the immediate medical and other expenses the long-term toll, whether lost income or population flight, and the costs are tremendous.
Some of the world’s most severe and protracted civil wars erupted over situations with far fewer tensions. But it's not too late for Venezuela.
Brazil has a murder problem. It also has a gun problem. Both could get worse if some Brazilian lawmakers have their way. Rather than tighten responsible firearms legislation, the so-called Bullet Caucus wants to make weapons even more accessible and untraceable.
Rio will have drones, an international command center, and even giant surveillance balloons keeping watch over the Games. There’s good reason for officials to stay vigilant.
The truth is that it is hard to generate valid murder data in Venezuela, much less Caracas.