HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Sentences Police to 26 Years for Drug Trafficking
BRIEF

Venezuela Sentences Police to 26 Years for Drug Trafficking

CARTEL DE LOS SOLES / 7 OCT 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Five police officers have been handed 26 year prison sentences for drug trafficking in Venezuela, in a case that represents a welcome move against corrupt elements in the country's security forces but is unlikely to be part of wider efforts to tackle endemic corruption. 

The five former state police officers were sentenced alongside three civilians, two years after the recovery of more than a ton of drugs from a small aircraft on the Paraguana Peninsula, in the northern state of Falcon, reported El Universal.

According to El Nacional, the eight were detained after officers from the Special Actions Corps of Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations (Cicpc) learned of their activities and moved in while the men were transferring drugs into the aircraft, which was set to fly out of the country. The bust resulted in a shootout which left one National Guardsman and one civilian dead.

One of the former officials received a lesser sentence of 24 years, while two of the civilians were sentenced to 18 years and one to 17 years. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Corruption is perhaps the biggest single factor fuelling drug trafficking in Venezuela, much of which is handled by the so-called Cartel de los Soles (Cartel of the Suns) -- the name given to the many corrupt factions of the security forces that are involved in the drug trade. Their role was emphasized by the recent discovery in France of 1.5 tons of cocaine on a plane that had departed a military-controlled airport in Venezuela, a discovery that also led to the arrests of military personnel.

By handing down such heavy sentences to the officers, it may be that Venezuelan authorities are seeking to show they are taking a hard line against this corruption, something President Nicolas Maduro has also begun to publically address. 

SEE ALSO: Cartel de los Soles Profile

However, even if the courts and the president truly wish to tackle corruption, they will face an uphill battle. Not only are the Venezuelan security forces among the most corrupt in the region, according to NGO Transparency International, they are also political actors, especially the army, whose support is crucial to Maduro if he wishes to maintain his increasingly fragile political base. 

Meanwhile, security in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, with the latest report from the Venezuelan Violence Observatory projecting that homicides are set to increase 23 percent in 2013, compared to last year.  

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

BOLIVIA / 12 JUL 2013

Venezuela, El Salvador, and Bolivia have come out at the bottom in an NGO's ranking of criminal justice systems…

PRISONS / 25 JUN 2018

For seven years under the same prison minister, organized crime groups have turned Venezuela's prisons into their own control centers.

VENEZUELA / 10 JAN 2014

The high-profile case of a beauty queen murdered in Venezuela has been declared solved, with authorities' ability to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…