Ronna Risquez, Coordinadora editorial; Juan Mejía Coordinador Caracas Mi Convive; Carlos D\'Hoy, Lorena Melendez, Fabiana Crisci, Darvinson Rojas, Vanessa Moreno, Johana Marra, Daisy Galaviz, Lysaura Fuentes, Joan Camargo, Jheilyn Cermeño, Paola Martinez y Francisco Zambrano (periodistas); Luisana Solano y Yeannali Fermín (RRSS)Abraham Moncada (video) y Juan Carlos Hernández (infografo)
Caracas is one of the most dangerous cities in the world as a result of the high levels of violence. Among all forms of criminal violence that exist, homicides have a concrete result that makes possible their clear identification and study around the fact: the death of a person. Each person who dies as a result of a homicide, whatever the reasons behind it, leaves a family, community and life testimony that is possible to know in order to seek the study of a scourge that has a great impact in present-day Venezuela. It is for this reason that Caracas Mi Convive has decided to base its own work on more than 35 communities in Caracas (such as Carapita, La Vega, Cota 905, Caricuao, Macarao, Guarataro and Petare) so that together with the team of journalists of Runrun.es carry out the survey, processing and analysis of the necessary information to account, observe, study, and understand the homicides that occur in the five municipalities of Greater Caracas, and at a more advanced stage, generate proposals for public policies based in this information to reduce the levels of violence in the communities where you work.We have consolidated a homicide observatory that allows us to study these crimes in the five municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas (with emphasis on popular sectors of Libertador and Petare), and makes it possible to characterize them from the perspective of family members, the victims and the community, with a view to identifying patterns that in the future could enable the design of policies that contribute to the reduction of criminal violence in one of the most violent cities in the world at present, thanks to the understanding of the reasons behind the homicides.
What makes this project innovative?
With a rate of almost 120 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants and with 7 out of 10 homicides related to issues of account adjustments, Caracas has established itself as one of the most dangerous cities in the world.This violence is a difficult scourge to address because of the imprecision that characterizes the study of cases, coupled with the difficulty involved in obtaining official figures. In that sense, there is a great need in Caracas and throughout Venezuela to systematize the information related to homicides to try not only to measure the seriousness of the problem, but also to identify patterns and dynamics of said crimes.It is for this reason that an observatory of homicides becomes a necessity that, by allowing to visualize, systematize in detail and map violent events, contributes to the eradication of this scourge and the promotion of a culture of peace through coexistence as engine to prevent violence.In Monitor of Victims, data journalism is combined with collaborative journalism and citizen participation. From Runrunes we organize a group of 19 journalists who are the ones who carry out the collection, analysis and dissemination of the collected data and stories. Of these 19 journalists, 8 belong to Runrun.es (3 editors, 2 socialmedia, 1 infograph, 1 videographer) and 11 come from allied media such as ElPitazo.com. EfectoCocuyo.Com Crónica.Uno ElUniversal.com and ElCooperante.com
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
The biggest challenge that we have encountered is the same reason for which was born Monitor de Víctimas, that is, to break censorship. And in that sense, the biggest impact has been that the government is increasingly finding it harder to gather data. He authorized two morgues in hospitals in the city to which they are prohibited access to the press and also give precise instructions to relatives who must say that their relative died a natural death and not a victim of a homicide. Despite all that from May 1 to December 31, Victim Monitor has 1135 people registered
Source and methodology
Each day of the week there are 2 journalists (one morning and another in the afternoon) to the morgue in Caracas to contact relatives of victims, officials, personnel, etc. who can and want to provide information about people who were victims of homicides. It is important to note that these figures are not supplied by any government agency.Journalists must fill out an application that has 27 questions from the date, time and place of the event, including their identity, sex, race, age, number of children, educational level, trade and ending by weapon used, relationship with the perpetrator, mobile of death and details. They have until 7 days later to finish collecting the data and that is where Caracas Mi Convive and its community leaders play a very important role, because thanks to them we can get closer to the family, to the community where they lived or witnessed and find more wealth for history.In the first 6 months of the project we conducted a research and data report in which we discovered that for this scourge we have an average of 4 orphans a day in Caracas.
An app was created that contains the 26 questions. It can be used without being connected to a network and only connects when it will transmit the data. This is fundamental if we bear in mind that Venezuela has the slowest internet speed in the region. Then it is graphed with tableu and it is also in google sheets for easy manipulation by journalistsNot everything is technology. The data is collected personally by the journalist with the relatives. We have done empathy workshops and we are preparing the Victim Monitor manual that will be a guide for writing event notes with a focus on Human Rights. In March, the Monitoring School will also begin in 5 states of the country where we will give writing workshops to event journalists.