Venezuela Investigative Unit

Venezuela's International Appetite for Stolen Luxury Cars

CONTRABAND / 7 OCT 2021

Specialist gangs are smuggling luxury vehicles from Colombia into Venezuela, shining a spotlight on how the country has become a destination for stolen cars from as far away as Miami.

How Many Colombian Fighters are Really Inside Venezuela?

COLOMBIA / 5 OCT 2021

Colombia’s top military commander says 40 percent of ELN and ex-FARC fighters operate in Venezuela, a figure that must be considered speculative but reflects important shifts in guerrilla dynamics, with…

Death of a Pran: Suicide Marks Venezuela Former Prison Boss’ Decline

PRISONS / 24 SEP 2021

Weeks after reports emerged of the suicide of a notorious Venezuelan prison gang boss in Colombia, authorities have confirmed the death of Edwin Ramón Soto Nava – a death that…

Venezuela Kidnappers Posing as Car Sellers to Lure Victims

KIDNAPPING / 22 SEP 2021

The Venezuelan police have stepped in amid a spate of violent crimes caused by gang members pretending to sell cars online. The offer: people can use police stations to finalize…

Venezuela's Smaller Gangs Carve Out Local Criminal Fiefdoms

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 SEP 2021

The visual is an arresting one. A Venezuelan army sergeant, his face swollen and his nose bleeding from a beating, is forced to speak on camera and tell his superiors…

In Venezuela, Prison Gang Chants Support for Politicians

PRISONS / 13 AUG 2021

Political support from career criminals is usually a matter of skulduggery and campaign finance. But one prison gang in Venezuela broke with tradition, releasing a video in which its members…

Ex-Lieutenant Allegedly Recruits Venezuelan Soldiers for Gang Attack on Illegal Mine

ILLEGAL MINING / 9 AUG 2021

A former army lieutenant allegedly recruited Venezuelan soldiers to provide firepower for the Tren de Guayana gang in a bid to take over gold mining operations in southern Venezuela, revealing…

Are El Koki and His Gang Members No Longer Safe in Venezuela?

EL KOKI / 6 AUG 2021

Police in Venezuela have killed a notorious gang leader while others are reportedly hiding in Colombia, raising questions about the state of one of Caracas’ most powerful criminal structures and…

Religious Statuettes Branded as El Koki for Sale in Caracas

EL KOKI / 23 JUL 2021

Salesmen in Caracas have come up with an enterprising response to the Venezuelan capital’s descent into criminal warfare: selling devotional statuettes dressed like members of El Koki's gang.

Is Venezuela Getting Serious About Unseating El Koki?

EL KOKI / 13 JUL 2021

Venezuelan forces have fought running gun battles in the streets of Caracas in recent days with members of the capital’s strongest gang, in an apparent attempt to finally unseat its…

Venezuela's Indigenous Warao Press-Ganged into Guyana's Illegal Gold Mines

GUYANA / 13 JUL 2021

Migrants from Venezuela's Warao Indigenous community who have been forced to flee to Guyana find themselves forcibly recruited to work as illegal miners in their new country.

Venezuela's Thriving Black Market for COVID-19 Vaccines

CONTRABAND / 30 JUN 2021

In the absence of an adequate COVID-19 vaccination plan, criminal networks in Venezuela have seized upon ongoing mismanagement to steal and resell doses or sell fake vaccines on the black…

About InSight Crime

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Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

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InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

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Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

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Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

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Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…