Criminology is a notorious enough black hole of theory as it is, without throwing a bunch of political bullshit into the mix. A cursory examination of recent history all around the world shows that crime waves can almost never, or never be blamed on any sitting Administration. If no government ever causes a crime wave, no succeeding government, except possibly some kind of a police state, can slow one down or stop one.
What causes crime then? Economic factors can cause crime. The homicide rate skyrocketed in the US during the Depression. It was actually higher during the Depression than it has been for most of the last 45 years. Yes! It is true. Your grandparents and parents lived through a crime wave.
People who lived through that era, though, said that your average person was pretty safe during the Depression, but the are not so safe now due to violent crimes against strangers. Homicides in the Depression were among fellow down and outers, and did not touch police society much at all.
There was a huge crime wave in the US starting in the 1960’s. The causes of this have never been satisfactorily explained. There was another wave during the 1990’s, apparently due to the “crack wars,” wars by Black inner city gangs fighting over the drug trade. While it is true that locking up vast percentages of the population can reduce crime, it is a costly palliative. On the other, there are few if any government actions that seem to cause crime, other than possibly setting off an economic Depression.
One thing is clear is that moving from a socialist system to a more capitalist system is associated with vast increases in crime, especially theft, organized crime, smuggling and homicide. Such transitions in China, the former USSR and Eastern Europe were characterized by wild increases in the crime rate.
Crime rates in Europe have typically been correlated with the amount of socialism in a society. The societies that had more socialism had less crime. The less socialism, the more crime. The correlation was pretty neat. It should be clear by now that capitalism itself causes tremendous amounts of crime.
Crime may also increase in societies that are highly unequal. Inequality causes frustration, rage and class resentment and conflict. Poorer people often act out this rage by stealing from the richer folks. Society is going to redistribute income in one way or another, this is what the capitalists don’t get. If the state won’t do it, the poorer people will take matters into their own hands and do some income redistribution of their own!
This article indicates that Latin America as a whole is undergoing a wild crime wave, in particular violent crime.
Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and even Costa Rica are experiencing terrible crime, in particular homicide.
Factors are difficult to discern, but the drug trade seems to be implicated in a lot of the crime. Brazil and Venezuela have had terrible crime under both rightwing and leftwing governments. Whatever government is in power in Brazil or Colombia does not seem to effect the crime rate. I doubt if changing the government will have much effect on crime in any of those other countries either. And why would it? The state has little to do with societally complex issues such as street crime.
In light of all of this, the notion parried about by the Western MSM that somehow Hugo Chavez’ government is responsible for a crime wave in Venezuela is downright bizarre. What might be the etiology of such a crime wave? How might the state be implicated? None of this makes any sense. Any criminology professor would laugh such a theory out of his office. It’s a shame that the MSM is stooping so low.