HomeNewsBriefColombian Gangs Battle It Out in Venezuela
BRIEF

Colombian Gangs Battle It Out in Venezuela

RASTROJOS / 11 JAN 2012 BY JEREMY MCDERMOTT EN

Two of Colombia’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations have taken their war across the border into Venezuela, eager to secure crossing points and influence in this crucial transit nation.

Four people were killed, two of them Colombian nationals, in a clash between rival gangs in the Venezuelan municipality of Pedro Maria Ureña, in the border state of Tachira. The area borders a national park, and is a staging post for drug shipments heading into the Venezuelan interior, having crossed from Colombia.

The two Colombians killed were believed to belong to the Urabeños, a powerful Colombian gang that dominates that nation’s Caribbean Coast. The other side in the firefight were likely from their rivals the Rastrojos. Both groups are fighting a battle across Colombia for control of movement corridors and departure points for drug shipments.

InSight Crime Analysis

Venezuela is now the principal transit nation for Colombian cocaine, with up to 200 tons passing through on its way to US and European markets. With the rise of powerful Mexican gangs and their control over the US market, Colombians have increasingly turned their attention towards Europe, and Venezuela is the bridge to the Old World.

The Venezuelan border states of Apure, Tachira and Zulia, all have registered presence of Colombian transnational criminal (TCOs), primarily the Urabeños, but also that of rebel groups of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

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

HUMAN RIGHTS / 17 AUG 2015

The arrest of several police officers accused of extrajudicial killings once again shines the spotlight on this issue in…

BOLIVIA / 20 MAR 2018

An annual US report on international drug trafficking suggests that Latin America continues to struggle with developing effective strategies…

GENDER AND CRIME / 27 NOV 2017

Gilber Sosa Arellano will not see his daughter grow up. He will not take her for a ride on the…

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…