This is a chapter of the long term project: Living with Hugo Chavez Legacy, funded by the Magnum Foundation.
It happens every day, as sure as the sun rises over the biggest favela in Latin America in Caracas — death is one of the few guaranteed things you can find in Venezuela.
Violence permeates everyday life here. In the streets, gangs clash with one another, with the police and with the army. Sometimes, police even clash among themselves. All of these factions wield power and abuse it. Caught in the middle of all of this, ordinary citizens buy guns to protect themselves. Whether it’s the loss of a friend or a relative, everyone here has been touched by violence. Death is in the air.
Venezuela is a country that seems to be at war with itself. It’s not always clear who is who. It’s hard to know who to trust or who your enemy is, so you’re always looking over your shoulder, waiting for the next blow, unsure of where it will come from. Violence has so saturated life here that people have begun to see it as normal.