Caracas is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. I`ve been coming here since 1984 and I´ve watched the steady deterioration of the streets, read the articles, watched the precautions people take, listened to people`s personal crime stories. But on Sunday night, July 4, just when the fireworks shows were beginning in the States, I felt the effects of crime in Caracas like never before.
My brother-in-law Hugo and wife Zobeida took us to the 2010 Venezuelan national ballroom Tango dancing contest. They taught tango for awhile and are a part of this community. At the contest, there were dancers and judges from all over Venezuela. Couples from Italy, Argentina and elsewhere came to show their stuff.
At the end of the show, after the winning couple had been chosen, a man from the audience was invited to speak. The full-house crowd grew quiet. Suddenly he was in tears, sharing the news that early that morning, the 67-year old father of Venezuelan Tango and director of the Centro Uruguayo, Marcos Tassino, had been murdered while closing up the Center. He was attacked by a group of criminals who had heard he had access to a safe on the premises.
As the speaker continued his remarks, and images of Tassino were projected on a screen, I became witness to a public display of raw grief on a scale I have rarely seen before. The Tango community have lost their very heart, and they cannot conceive of life without their beloved Marcos.