July 12, 2018

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Thieves plunder headstones as Venezuela’s crisis turns grave.

Grief flooded back for Ivonne de Gutierrez when she brought flowers to her son’s grave at a cemetery in Venezuela’s capital, only to find that the grave markers of several relatives were gone.

The pieces cast with bronze letters and religious symbols that identified the graves of a nephew and two aunts had disappeared since her visit a week earlier.

“Almost all of them have been taken,” Gutierrez said, standing among the vandalized graves at Cemetery of the East, one of Caracas’ most cherished final resting places.

While thieves have been targeting the capital’s necropolises for years, robbing unsuspecting mourners or ransacking tombs for metal objects and even human bones used in occult ceremonies, the crime wave has worsened as the country has been consumed by economic and political crisis.

Eventually, even socialist regimes run out of corpses to pick at.