In Violence-racked Venezuela, Pokemon Go As Protest

In violence-racked Venezuela, Pokemon Go as protest

CARACAS,(APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Augst,2016) - When Cristian Fragoza takes to the streets of Caracas hunting the virtual monsters of Pokemon Go, he knows the risks he's running are real -- his cell phone, and maybe even his life. But the 18-year-old philosophy student says playing the augmented reality game is a form of protest against the violent crime that has made Venezuela one of the most dangerous countries in the world. "We're the resistance against the criminals," said Fragoza, who's gotten hooked on the wildly popular game since it arrived in Venezuela on August 3. He proudly shows off one of his favorite Pokemon catches: a Bulbasaur, a green reptilian creature, which he captured at the edge of a neighborhood called 23 de Enero, considered one of the most dangerous in the Venezuelan capital.

It takes guts to play the game in a country that registered 17,778 homicides last year. With a homicide rate of 62 per 100,000 inhabitants, Venezuela is the third-most murderous country in the world, behind gang-plagued Honduras and El Salvador, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Fragoza said he hunts his Pokemon cautiously. "I go two blocks away, in a neighborhood where they've known me since I was a kid, and then I come back," he said as he perched over his cell phone playing outside a Caracas shopping center with a group of friends he met online.