Venezuela: A Mafia State?

VENEZUELA / 25 MAY 2018

This investigation, the product of three years of field research, looks at the exponential growth of organized crime in Venezuela and the consequences of this for the region.

Chapter 1

7 Reasons for Describing Venezuela as a ‘Mafia State’

COLECTIVOS / 16 MAY 2018

There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes a "mafia state." Here are seven arguments as to why we think Venezuela qualifies and what the implications are of this…

Chapter 2

Drug Trafficking Within the Venezuelan Regime: The ‘Cartel of the Suns’

CARTEL DE LOS SOLES / 17 MAY 2018

In Latin America, criminal entrepreneurs in the form of cartels, have traditionally run drug trafficking. In Venezuela, it is managed from within government, and if Nicolás Maduro wins another term in office, Venezuela’s position in the global cocaine…

Chapter 3

The Devolution of State Power: The ‘Colectivos’

COLECTIVOS / 18 MAY 2018

They are known by supporters as “knights of steel” on their motorcycles, and as the most ardent defenders of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. Yet now they look more like criminal gangs…

Chapter 4

The Devolution of State Power: ‘The Pranes’

INFOGRAPHICS / 20 MAY 2018

In May 2011, a 26-year-old prison gang leader held 4,000 members of the Venezuelan security forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, at bay for weeks. Humiliated nationally and internationally, it…

Chapter 5

Colombia and Venezuela: Criminal Siamese Twins   

COLOMBIA / 21 MAY 2018

Colombia and Venezuela have shared criminal dynamics for decades. Colombia has pushed cocaine through Venezuela on its journey to US and European markets, while Venezuela’s contraband fuel has gushed in the other direction. But today the criminal links…

Chapter 6

Honduras and Venezuela: Coup and Cocaine Air Bridge  

CACHIROS / 23 MAY 2018

On the morning of Sunday, June 28, 2009, Honduran soldiers burst into the presidential palace in the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa, rustled President Manuel Zelaya from his bed, and took away his cellular phone.

Chapter 7

Dominican Republic and Venezuela: Cocaine Across the Caribbean

COCAINE / 24 MAY 2018

Drug traffickers have a problem exporting drugs from Venezuela. There are few commercial flights, little container shipping, no tourists and a collapsed fishing sector. But the Dominican Republic, 1,400 kilometers away, has it…

Chapter 8

Venezuela and El Salvador: Exporting Aid and Corruption

EL SALVADOR / 25 MAY 2018

José Luis Merino is one of the most powerful figures in El Salvador’s governing political party and played a key role in the founding of ALBA Petróleos, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s…

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Institutional Content

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …