Venezuela Investigative Unit

Venezuelan Government Targeting One of Country's Oldest Gangs for Annihilation

MEGABANDAS / 23 JUN 2022

One of Venezuela’s oldest gangs, Tren del Llano, has suffered months of targeted operations by security forces and may now be on its last legs.

After El Koki's Death, Gangs Stir Once Again in Caracas’ Cota 905

EL KOKI / 31 MAY 2022

Four months after Venezuelan security forces killed gang boss and public enemy No. 1, El Koki, police in his former Caracas stronghold have suffered two separate grenade attacks – in…

Venezuela’s Move to Cocaine Production: Crops, Chemists and Criminal Evolution

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

In October 2021, the Venezuelan Ministry of the Interior issued an ordinary looking statement about an antinarcotics operation in the state of Zulia that had extraordinary implications: the military had…

Beyond the Cartel of the Suns

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

In 2020, the US Department of Justice released a bombshell indictment charging sitting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other senior members of his government with “narco-terrorism” and accusing them of…

Gordito González and Venezuela’s Narco-brokers

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

In 2016, two adopted nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro were found guilty of a conspiracy to bring 800 kilograms of cocaine into the United States.

Maduro Seeks to Regulate the Cocaine Trade

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

In 2013, Nicolás Maduro became president of one of the world’s most important cocaine hubs, inheriting a unique drug trafficking eco-system where the line between the underworld and the state…

Organ Sales in Venezuela: A New Online Scam?

VENEZUELA / 2 MAY 2022

The arrests of three people in Venezuela for Facebook Marketplace posts in which they allegedly offered kidneys for sale have raised questions about the illegal organ trade in a country…

How Venezuelan Gangs Masquerade as Community Organizers to Secure Territory

ELITES AND CRIME / 11 APR 2022

Elements of the Venezuelan underworld, whether drug cartels, street gangs or illegal mining groups, have hit upon a unique way of establishing social control:…

A Cultural Occupation: The Guerrillas and the Indigenous in Venezuela's Amazon

ELN / 6 APR 2022

It was 2019 when the Colombian guerrillas first arrived to the Cataniapo river basin, known as Ähuiyäru De’iyu Ręję to the region’s Indigenous Huottoja people.

Venezuela May Never Be Able to Rid Itself of Spectre of Landmines

COLOMBIA / 21 MAR 2022

Almost a year after the use of landmines was first reported in Venezuela, their deployment now appears a routine tactic for Colombian guerrilla groups operating in the country, especially in…

Venezuela Judicial Woes Exacerbated as Prison Guards Extort Inmates

PRISONS / 17 MAR 2022

The families of Venezuelan detainees have complained that prisoners are being extorted by guards and officials in order to simply be taken to their court hearings, further worsening Venezuela's critical…

Honor Among Thieves - The Venezuela Manhunt for an Altruistic Mob Boss

EL KOKI / 14 MAR 2022

In December 2021, residents of Tejerías, a small city in the northern state of Aragua, Venezuela, started to notice strange events: wild parties in public plazas organized by a local…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…