In Communistic basic theory, every block in a city has a block captain who watches over the citizens in his block. The structure follows the chain up to districts and states. Those who serve to keep watch on the rest of society get special treatment as "party members". In Venezuela, they take the concept one healthy, or rather unhealthy, notch higher.
"Colectivos" are gangs of thugs, many former block party members supporting the government, mounted on motorcycles and roving Venezuelan barrios looking for victims. Any one who speaks out against a repressive regime is fair game. There is no point in calling the police or government agency for help, because these thugs are supported by the government.
Despite a press lock down, videos have been leaking out of besieged sections of major Venezuelan cities showing the absolute brutality of the Collectives. They are doing what the government, in it's supposed official capacity, has failed to do. Quelling unrest is one thing. Allowing the brutal assault and dehumanization of the opposition is another thing.
Sailors are advised to avoid Venezuela at all costs. The country has fallen into complete chaos. The government is resorting to violent methods not so unlike those used by Army Major Roberto D'Aubuisson en El Salvador. Last week, two opposition leaders, Luis Daniel Gómez, and Gustavo Giménez were found murdered in a Caracas Park. Supposedly, the leaders, friends of opposition Leopoldo López, one even having grown up in the same household. Yet, the Venezuelan government, which owns and controls the vast majority of the Nation's assets, and with all of it's investigative might, has conveniently been unable to identify or capture the assassins of the two men.
In fact, part of the unrest in Venezuela is due to the general feeling of insecurity. No one is safe in Venezuela today. Caracas now has a reputation of being one of the most dangerous places on Earth, despite considerable wealth and education. The government under Nicolás Maduro Moros, who took over after Hugo Chavez died from cancer, has been ineffective in protecting the supply of the most basic necessities of life, toilet paper, food, beverages and even the safety of the people who live under his rule.
People representing both the left and the right are fighting for basic freedom. The government is paralyzed to stop protests against it while encouraging the Colectivos to do the job the government, in full view of the limited press, prefers not to be seen as doing. Yet, their silence and refusal to take action against unbridled thugs reminds people of other South American and Central American governments which quietly stood by while criminals did their dirty work.