Venuezuela: Cult of The Thugs

Channel 4

Unreported World

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This week's Unreported World reveals how Venezuelans are increasingly turning to a mystical cult that worships the spirits of dead Robin Hood-style gangsters as they seek supernatural protection from a crime wave that the police seem unable to contain.

Reporter Nima Elbagir and producer James Brabazon discover that as a result of the country’s unprecedented rise in murders – and the failure of the police to halt it - adherents of spiritism have turned gangster-ism into an act of veneration, legitimising violent criminals with the trappings of mainstream religious belief.

"One of the more harrowing offerings of this fine strand ... Reporter Nima Elbagir brings magnificent, brave understatement to her investigations, in a way that so many safari-suited investigative chaps couldn't help but boast about"
- Observer

"It’s a shame that the documentaries in this excellent strand are so short"
- Daily Telegraph

First Broadcast

November 21, 2008



Producer Director

James Brabazon


Nima Elbagir

Executive Producer

Eamonn Matthews


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