HomeNewsBrief8 Killed in Massacre on Colombia-Venezuela Border
BRIEF

8 Killed in Massacre on Colombia-Venezuela Border

COLOMBIA / 11 NOV 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

A reported clash between criminal groups the Rastrojos and the Urabeños left eight dead along the Colombia-Venezuela border, which, if true, would suggest that the power struggle between these two organizations in this strategic region remains intense.

On November 10, the Colombian ambassador to Venezuela, Luis Eladio Perez, confirmed that eight people were massacred in the Venezuelan border state of Zulia over the weekend, reported Blu Radio. Initial reports were mixed regarding the number of people of killed,  as well as the identities of the perpetrators and the victims. 

According to Venezuela's La Nacion, an unidentified source linked to the investigation into the massacre said that those killed were members of the Rastrojos, and that the perpetrators were the Urabeños. Police in the Venezuelan state of Tachira said a Rastrojos commander and his deputy were among the victims, reported La Nacion. 

Police separately told media off the record that the victims were thought to be members of the Aguilas Negras -- another Colombian criminal group -- or the Rastrojos, who worked extorting farmers in the region, reported El Pais.

Blu Radio reported that Venezuelan authorities were still working to establish whether the victims and perpetrators were members of these criminal groups. 

According to El Pais, six of the victims displayed signs of torture and multiple bullet wounds. Meanwhile, two cadavers found nearby had been beheaded. 

Five of the victims have been identified as Colombian nationals, reported El Tiempo.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the sequence of events surrounding the massacre remains unclear, it wouldn't be the first time that Colombian criminal groups have clashed along the Venezuelan frontier. Both the Rastrojos and the Urabeños are known to have a significant presence in the Venezuela border region, and have been disputing the territory for several years. At one point, the Rastrojos was the most powerful BACRIM (from the Spanish acronym for "criminal bands") in the region, but the group has been in decline since their top leadership was captured in 2012. The Urabeños, meanwhile, has established a significant power base in the border area, setting up training camps in Venezuela and allegedly recruiting Venezuelan nationals into its ranks.

SEE ALSO: BACRIM in Venezuela Profile

BACRIM groups are known to operate in Venezuelan border states including Zulia, Apure, and Tachira -- where another BACRIM-attributed massacre took place earlier this year. The border region is highly strategic for drug traffickers looking to control routes through Venezuela -- the main transit hub for Colombian cocaine -- as well as for contraband runners.   

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

COLOMBIA / 9 DEC 2021

Colombian media has reported that top ex-FARC commanders El Paisa and Romaña have been shot dead in Venezuela, making them…

COLOMBIA / 26 NOV 2021

Alerts of the mass displacement of ex-combatants in Meta, due to the deteriorating security situation in the department, warn of…

COCAINE / 6 MAY 2022

Venezuelan authorities have not offered much information about the recent capture of a drug smuggling submarine close to the border…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…