Vowing to purge corrupt police officials, Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez has made public his mobile phone number and called on officers to report criminal activity by their colleagues and superiors, Sky News reported
Rodriguez promised to investigate and “rip the head off” of any police officer found to be corrupt.
The Venezuelan government headed by his boss, President Nicolas Maduro, has been sharply criticized for failing to curb crime in the wake of the murder of former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear, 29.
Spear was shot to death last Monday along with her former husband, Thomas Henry Berry, 39, after their car experienced mechanical trouble on a highway in the northwestern part of the country.
The couple were gunned down in front of their five-year-old daughter, who suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.
The killings come amid a worsening violent crime problem in Venezuela. The Christian Science Monitor
reported that according to statistics compiled by the United Nations, the country had the world’s fourth-highest murder rate in 2010, behind only El Salvador, Jamaica and Honduras.
More than 24,700 people were murdered in Venezuela last year, an increase of 14 percent over 2012.
Only eight of 100 murders in Venezuela are solved, Sky News reported, and many in the country say police corruption exacerbates the problem.
Seven people have been arrested thus far in connection with the Spears/Berry murders, and police are searching for at least four more suspects in connection with case.
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