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

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

EL KOKI / 31 MAY 2022 BY VENEZUELA INVESTIGATIVE UNIT EN

Nearly 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 what appears to be a ramping up of violence.

During the early morning hours of May 29, three officers were injured in a grenade attack on their post in Cota 905, a neighborhood in the western part of the capital. About two weeks earlier, two officers were injured when masked men lobbed grenades at a police station in the Mata de Caucho section of Cota 905, online news outlet Efecto Cocuyo reported.

According to Venezuelan investigative journalist Román Camacho, the attacks were carried out by former lieutenants of Carlos Luis Revete, alias "El Koki." The two men, known by their aliases, "Garbis" and "Vampi," controlled large parts of Cota 905 until El Koki's death in February. Since then, they were reportedly on the run.

InSight Crime spoke to a police commander in western Caracas who confirmed that Garbis was suspected of being behind the latest attack.

Authorities responded to the earlier May 19 grenade attack. Venezuela’s criminal investigation unit (Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas – CICPC) raided Cota 905, as well as the nearby neighborhoods of La Vega, El Valle and El Cementerio.

The operation reportedly left three people dead and one police officer injured. One resident of Cota 905, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisals, told InSight Crime that “one of those killed worked as a hitman for El Koki.”

SEE ALSO: El Koki, Venezuela's Most Notorious Gang Boss, Shot Dead

After El Koki was driven out of Cota 905 in July 2021, security forces had maintained a strong presence in the neighborhood, including mounting the police station targeted in the grenade attack. However, two residents of Cota 905 and La Vega told InSight Crime that patrols and the presence of authorities had diminished since early 2022.

“The police are not even protecting their own stations," one of the residents told InSight Crime. "They normally had guards outside the offices, but they stopped doing that about a month ago."

InSight Crime Analysis

El Koki's ousting was touted as a move that would bring peace to Cota 905, but the grenade attacks suggest otherwise.

SEE ALSO: Why did Venezuela's Peace Zones Backfire So Badly?

El Koki ruled the neighborhood until July 2021, when he was driven out of Caracas. In the preceding months, authorities made a series of raids on Cota 905 after El Koki's gunmen attempted to take over a nearby neighborhood. Police shot and killed El Koki in February after a three-day manhunt.

While Garbis or Vampi are reported to be behind the latest attacks, it is unclear whether they are able to exert the same type of control over Cota 905 as El Koki, who was once regarded as untouchable there. From 2014 to 2020, Cota 905 was the center of drug trafficking, contraband and weapons trafficking for much of the city. In 2014, the area was declared a Peace Zone (Zona de Paz), in a government campaign to remove security forces from gang-controlled neighborhoods in exchange for these groups keeping the peace.

El Koki's death and the absence of his lieutenants in Cota 905 provided authorities an opportunity to maintain control in a crucial criminal stronghold. But their haphazard presence appears to have in the interim allowed the gang leaders to exert some level of authority once again.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COVID AND CRIME / 16 DEC 2020

Several inmates at a Venezuela prison scaled a wall to escape to a part of the complex where prison bosses…

COLOMBIA / 18 AUG 2021

Seizures of coltan in Colombia have shown the complex networks used by armed groups to smuggle the valuable mineral from…

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 FEB 2022

Venezuela’s government has unleashed a new campaign targeting municipal and state officials, police commanders and prosecutors allegedly involved in extortion…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…