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18 November 2011
President Hugo Chavez has ordered 3,200 national guard troops into the streets of Caracas and the states of Vargas and Miranda to fight surging crime.
The troops are under a new command...called the People's Guard.
Last week...Chavez was publicly embarrassed by 2 high profile kidnappings.
A Chilean consul was taken in Caracas and beaten for 2 hours in the very common secuestros express...just days after the high profile USA athlete Wilson Ramos was kidnapped and held for 2 days...near Valencia.
Some experts claim Venezuela averages 3 kidnappings...daily.
Reported kidnappings increased from 52 in 1998...to 618 in 2009.
But a watchdog group claims...more than 16,000...were kidnapped that year.
Chavez is already running for re-election in 2012...and rampant crime under his regime is seen as his major challenging issue.
FOR MORE Details on kidnappings, See: