Venezuelan minister gives out mobile number to catch corrupt police

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 January, 2014, 11:29pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 January, 2014, 11:29pm


Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez gave out his mobile phone number during a televised speech and asked police to call him to report corruption as anger over violent crime mounted in Venezuela after a famous former beauty queen was murdered.

"New police will always have some great superiors, well-prepared ones. But they also are going to get some bad eggs.

"Report them fearlessly because their (corruption) undermines police authority for the Venezuelan people," Rodriguez said. "Just give me the information right away and we will rip the head off that immoral police superior."

The authorities solve only eight out of every 100 homicides in Venezuela, emboldening criminals who have turned the South American nation into one of the world's most dangerous places outside war zones.

Monica Spear, a former Miss Venezuela who starred in a telenovela at the US-based Telemundo network, became the latest casualty of her homeland's crime epidemic last Monday.

Robbers shot Spear, 29, and her 39-year-old British ex-partner Henry Thomas Berry in front of their five-year-old daughter, who was wounded, after they locked themselves in their broken-down car on a northwestern Venezuelan highway.

Seven people, including a woman and two teenagers, have been arrested in connection with the double murder.

The couple were buried on Friday while their daughter, Maya, was in the care of her grandparents.

Hundreds of actors and writers took to the streets of Caracas last Wednesday to demand that the government protects its citizens from the callous killers responsible for giving Venezuela one of the world's highest murder rates.