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Black Market Bullets Are Killing Venezuelans

Members of the National Police are deployed during a protest, in Caracas on Feb. 22, 2014.

Members of the National Police are deployed during a protest, in Caracas on Feb. 22, 2014.

Photographer: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images
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The Venezuelan military’s failure to comply with bullet coding laws is fueling the world’s second-highest murder rate and enriching black market speculators, according to lawmakers, police officers and activists.

Almost two years after President Nicolas Maduro ordered Cavim, the army-owned munitions company, to code bullets according to intended users among the police, military and sports shooters, the company has yet to comply. That means security forces have no way of tracing who is selling ammunition to the country’s armed gangs.