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Caught between gangs and Venezuelan police in Cota 905


Caracas, Venezuela – The 300,000 residents of the Cota 905 shantytown perched on the hills of western Caracas are no strangers to violence.Their neighbourhood, abandoned by police in 2017, has been run by gangs. There had been a few clashes in recent months, but nothing like the all-out fighting that drove Ines (not her real name – she like others in this piece asked for anonymity for fear of retaliation) to flee her home in the middle of a gunfight.
Ines and 11 other families lived in an abandoned preschool. As police descended on Cota 905 on July 7, gang members told Ines and her neighbours that …

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