Venezuela was named the most dangerous country to live for the second year in a row

Once buzzing with night life, now deserted
Once buzzing with night life, now deserted
Image: AP/Ariana Cubillos
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Do you feel safe walking in your neighborhood at night? Most Venezuelans definitely do not.

In 2017, only 17% of Venezuelans said they felt safe walking alone at night in the city or area where they live, according to a poll conducted by Gallup. This drastically low sense of security reflects the deteriorating economic and political situation in Venezuela, which have reached a point rendering the country practically unlivable.

The Gallup results were just published in the pollster’s 2018 Global Law and Order report. Venezuelan were four times less likely to answer that they felt safe walking alone at night than the average level of 68% among the 142 countries surveyed. In the US, the number was 72%. In the UK, it was 80%.

It’s not just perception. Venezuela was also one of the most dangerous places to live in the world, according to the poll: 42% of Venezuelans said they were stolen from during the past 12 months, and 23% reported being assaulted or mugged. Venezuelans also had low confidence in their law enforcement—just 25% of the people surveyed said they trusted the local police.

It’s the second consecutive year Venezuela appears as the least secure country among the those polled. Gallup first conducted the poll in 2006, and the responses in recent years, from 1,000 randomly selected Venezuelans, show the declining security of the country over the past decade.

The decline in safety followed the worsening of Venezuela’s economy. Many local and foreign businesses have already closed their doors. In 2016, Coca-Cola stopped making Coke in the country because of a sugar shortage, and General Motors left the country after it faced large losses and the seizure of its factory by the government, to cite two examples. Venezuela’s economy has shrunk for four straight years.

According to a United Nations estimate, 1.5 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2014 due to the political and economic crisis. It seems no matter where they end up, it will be safer than home.