I have reasons to doubt about the professional values of employees at the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (INE) when they start to sound like propaganda masters. When I see their numbers don't fit with the data coming from the National Electoral Centre, I become more cautious.
But when I discover data like this and plot it to produce charts like the one below, I really become puzzled. This data is based on what the INE claims to be the suicide statistics for each state in Venezuela from 2000 to 2010. If you look at the total, you see Venezuelans are apparently killing themselves less often now. Of course, one can argue that as the murder rate has more than tripled in the last 13 years, Venezuelans with suicidal tendencies feel they can just walk around and someone else will do it for them.
But then we look at the numbers per state and through time, we notice a strange thing:
It's Zulia, that special state in North-Western Venezuela where people eat this at 35°C under the shadow. How is it possible that the amount of suicides could be so much higher in 2000 and it went down so dramatically in 10 years whereas suicides remained the same in the rest of the country?
What do you think is going on there?