Poll: Venezuelans' trust in police, military at record lows

By Ray Downs  |  June 14, 2017 at 8:16 PM
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June 14 (UPI) -- After months of heated protests that have seen several deaths and casualties, the vast majority of Venezuelans have lost faith in their police and military, a new Gallup poll shows.

According to the survey, just 14 percent of respondents said they have confidence in the local police, while 84 percent said they do not. That's by far the lowest level of confidence since the poll began in 2005, when 43 percent said police were trustworthy.

The Venezuelan military, though, isn't faring much better -- as the poll found only 16 percent said they have faith in the country's armed forces. The Venezuelan judicial system received the same support.

In somewhat of a symbol of that lack of confidence in the country's judicial system, anti-government protesters set fire to the Venezuelan Supreme Court building in Caracas on Tuesday.

The violence was a reaction to the court's decision to allow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the country's constitution.

Days before the Supreme Court's decision, Venezuela's chief prosecutor, Luis Ortega Diaz, urged the judges to reject the president's request.

"What's at play here is the country," she said. "The integrity of Venezuelans."

Although protests have been a common occurrence in Venezuela for several years, the past three months have seen an escalation that's resulted in 67 deaths. Media reports blame the majority of the deaths on pro-government forces, while some have been caused by anti-government groups.

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