Oct. 3 - Skyrocketing violent crime rates dominate Venezuelan presidential campaign as voters seek leader who can bring law and order to the country. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Days ahead of the presidential election in Venezuela people fed up with crime are taking to the streets to say "Enough." Crime is now reaching epidemic proportions - with local researchers saying that 19,000 people were murdered in Venezuela last year, with the government putting that number closer to 15,000. Kelly Serrano's son was murdered in a senseless crime on the streets. Now, all she has are the memories. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MOTHER WHO LOST HER SON DUE TO CRIME, KELLY SERRANO, SAYING: "Life cannot be taken from a human being just for the sake of it. My son did not have any problems with anyone." President Hugo Chavez says the origins of the violence pre-date his tenure. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ SAYING: "Now they want to place all the blame on me for the violence. I assume my part of the blame. On the other side, they don't assume their own, but it's a tough fight against this perverse inheritance that was left to us by earlier governments and their capitalist model." While Chavez is still ahead in the polls, his opponents have highlighted crime on the campaign trail. In Caracas, images of those who have lost loved ones are now plastered in parts of the city -- putting a human face on the cost of crime.