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Sociology - Venezuela

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Research topics


Urban violence in Latin America: the case of Caracas. A comparative ethnographic perspective

This research project aims to develop and deepen the theoretical reflection on armed territorial orders and criminal governance in Latin America through the understudied case of Venezuela. The ongoing research brings together observation as well as interviews with neighbors, police officers and members of armed groups in two popular communities in Caracas. It is a comparative ethnographically oriented project in which two types of nonstate armed actors living in two sectors of the city of Caracas are analyzed: the armed Colectivos (parastatal vigilante armed groups loyal to the government), and a “Mega-gang,”—part of a relatively new form of organized crime in Venezuela. The project focuses on the processes of internal organization experienced by these groups, the transformations in the relationships with the state during the political process known as the Bolivarian Revolution, and the types of criminal governance established in their communities.

Activities / Resume


Verónica Zubillaga: (PhD, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium), is an associate professor at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas. She has been Visiting Professor at Brown University, Harvard University and Notre Dame University. She combines research on armed violence, gender, and public policy with activism for the formulation of public policies that respect democratic guarantees in Venezuela.