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  • Bolivarian National Guard officers start patrols to reinforce security in Petare.

    Bolivarian National Guard officers start patrols to reinforce security in Petare. | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes

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The Great Mission of Social Justice, which the Guards are part of, aims to protect citizens against crime, accidents and natural disasters.

Venezuela has added 300 more officers to the Bolivarian National Guard, GNB, to patrol the streets of one of Caracas' most dangerous sectors, Petare.

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The move is a response to increased incidents of crime over the past week based on data from the Minstry of Interior Justice and Peace, according to Division General Fabio Zavarse.

"Petare is separated into 14 sectors based on population density and rates of specific crimes. This all falls under the Great Mission of Social Justice."

President Nicolas Maduro launched the Great Mission of Social Justice on Feb. 15 at the Courtyard of Honor of the Military Academy, where 10,000 high school graduates also began the training process to become part of the GNB, as well as the Bolivarian National Police, the PNB.

By July, it is expected that 20,000 new professionals will have joined the GNB and the PNB.

"The topography of Petare is difficult to control, but we use drones, video cameras and receive assistance from the public." - Director General Fabio Zavarse

The Great Mission of Social Justice aims to protect citizens against crime, accidents and natural disasters. It also seeks to protect the stability and function of democratic institutions and coordinate presidential protocols.

Despite the recent spike in crime in Petare, over the first quarter of 2017 Venezuela has experienced a 40 percent reduction in criminal activity such as theft, kidnapping and murder, compared to the same period last year.

He added that current crime reduction initiatives are a collaborative effort with the public. "The public gives us feedback through a special call-in number. And we respond within five minutes of the call."

Officers never work alone, and can always be seen working in groups of three to six.

President Maduro said the Mission will combine Judicial, Citizen and Executive powers for peace and social security, engaging all sectors of society.

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Earlier this week, an educational program titled "Wake Up with Civil Protection," visited schools throughout the country, giving basic training to children on how to effectively make 911 calls.

The workshop also included First Aid (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Obstruction of Respiratory Tract) workshops, knot making and the importance of cleanliness.

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