CARACAS, VENEZUELA – NOVEMBER 2009: A group of Chavez supporters waits in a official car in the streets of Caracas. In the background, local officials enable very poor residents of a slum in Caracas to trade in unwanted junk, furniture, etc for food handouts. The many slums of Caracas are the traditional strongholds of the ‘colectivos’ in the city. ‘Colectivos’ are criminal gangs which have been armed by President Hugo Chavez’s administration, and have been converted into left-wing guerrilla groups through the introduction of political ideology, in order to act as death squadrons serving the Bolivarian revolution, carrying out politically-motivated killings. Venezuela is experiencing the worst political crisis of its recent history. The economic crisis, shortages, levels of violence and political persecution have divided the country. Nicolas Maduro’s government is being accused by the opposition of systematically violating human rights and freedoms of the Venezuelan people. They accuse the government of abducting state institutions and to turn Venezuela into one of the worst political regimes in the world. At present, the international community views with concern the Venezuelan crisis and especially the situation of political prisoners.