The people waiting for hours in front of the Caracas drugstore were dazed with heat and boredom when the gunmen arrived.
The robbers demanded a cellphone from a 25-year-old in black shorts. Instead of handing it over, Junior Perez took off toward the entrance to the pharmacy. Eight shots rang out, and he fell face down.
The dozens of shoppers in line were unmoved. They held their places as the gunmen went through Perez’s pockets. They watched as thick ribbons of blood ran from the young man’s head into the grooves of the tiled walkway. And when their turns came, each bought the two tubes of rationed toothpaste they were allowed.
“These days, you have to put the line above everything,” said pharmacist Haide Mendoza, who was there that morning. “You make sure you get what you need, and you don’t feel sorry for anyone.”
Sounds like good place for a certain type of hardened, urban-oriented Traveller to
grow up escape from.
Also, the situation inspires a a certain kind of Vilani-bureaucratic dystopia…
The extent of the country’s economic collapse can be measured in the length of the lines snaking through every neighborhood. The average Venezuelan shopper spends 35 hours waiting to buy food each month. That’s three times more than in 2014, according to the polling firm Datanalisis.
“As the economy breaks down, life is telescoping to be just lines,” said Datanalisis president Luis Vicente León. “You have masses of people in the streets competing for scarce goods. You’re inevitably going to get conflict, fights, tricks, you name it.”
Impersonal Bureaucracies do get a certain satisfaction with long, long lines snaking to an understaffed counter. But the Vilani are too capitalistic/corporate, too consensus-oriented, too efficency-minded, and too well organized to “Go Venezuela.”
Now, a Solomani population with a poorly-fitting Vilani-style government imposed on them, that’s a different story…
Convicts were able to force the Venezuelan government to transfer more than 2,500 detainees to their prison for the express purpose of collecting extortion payments from them in a case that illustrates the dangerous lack of official control over the country’s penitentiary system.
It was not the first time prison workers, including guards, had been taken hostage by inmates who wanted to draw public attention to some issue related to daily life within the prison system. The protests have generally centered on overcrowding and lack of food. But this time, inmates had a different agenda. They demanded that at least 3,000 detainees being held in police jails scattered across the country be transferred to the prison.
Extortion-farming, as official policy. Hmm…
Oddly enough, the enterprising Vargr/Vilani corporate pirates of Ikon, somehow stuck in a local prison system, may well come up with the same idea. The long term goal would be different: eventual, if unofficial, integration into the structure of the government.
A Blood Vargr takeover of a human prison system would have a rather different outcome, best left to the imagination.