Oil-rich Venezuela remains a land plagued by crime and a stark gap between the rich and poor, a divide that stubbornly remains despite President Hugo Chavez’s efforts to redistribute the nation’s wealth.

In the marginalized “barrios” of Caracas, where police presence is scarce and crime rates are high, youth groups called “Malandros” provide security to the inhabitants of the territory they control, wage territory wars with similar groups, and finance their activities through petty drug sales.

Caracas, Venezuela, 2007.