HomeNewsAnalysisVenezuela to Manufacture Kalashnikov Rifles
ANALYSIS

Venezuela to Manufacture Kalashnikov Rifles

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 3 DEC 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

In a move that many analysts see as potentially destabilizing for the region, Venezuela will begin to manufacture Kalashnikov rifles with the assistance of Russian arms company Rosoboronexport, beginning next May.

According to Colombian daily El Espectador, the plan is ahead of schedule. “We now plan to finish building the factories and start production in May 2011,” said Igor Sevastianov, deputy director of the Russian company. “We want to produce the first test series that month.” The construction of factories to produce Kalashnikov assault rifles and ammunition began in early 2009 following a contract signed between Moscow and Caracas.

According to the Geneva-based Small Arms Institute, the world has produced an estimated 100 million Kalashnikov assault rifles since the end of the second World War. Today, it is the weapon of choice for insurgencies and criminal gangs across the globe because of its relatively low cost, durability and ease of use. Venezuela is a regular transit point for these weapons, and leftist insurgencies, right-wing paramilitaries and drug traffickers in neighboring Colombia regularly obtain small arms on the black market.

Because of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s alleged support for Colombia’s insurgent groups, the deal now has many analysts worried that the president may now attempt to provide them with arms manufactured in his country. According to a 2003 study published by the RAND Corporation, “although there is no definitive evidence at this point that links the administration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to a deliberate policy of arming Colombia’s guerrillas, it is possible that sympathetic individual members of the Venezuelan military have supplied both weapons and ammunition [to the guerrillas].”

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

CYBERCRIME / 15 MAY 2015

Prosecutors in Ecuador are investigating $135 million in suspicious transactions that flowed through a shared virtual currency system with Venezuela,…

PRISONS / 7 SEP 2012

An estimated 1,000 prisoners have escaped from Venezuelan prisons this year, according to one NGO that monitors the country's penitentiaries,…

BOLIVIA / 27 MAY 2013

Bolivia has turned to Venezuela as it continues its search for partners to replace the United States in providing anti-drug…

About InSight Crime

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. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…