HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Megabanda Shatters 'Pax Mafiosa' by Murdering Rivals
BRIEF

Venezuela Megabanda Shatters 'Pax Mafiosa' by Murdering Rivals

EL KOKI / 20 FEB 2019 BY VENEZUELA INVESTIGATIVE UNIT EN

A dangerous mega-gang in Venezuela has massacred members of another alleged criminal group in retaliation for the murder of two soldiers. The application of this form of "justice" would spell an end to the "pax mafiosa" between certain criminal groups, controlling neighborhoods of Caracas, and the government of Nicolás Maduro.

On the night of February 12, the mega-gang (referring to a criminal group with over 100 men) of Carlos Luis Revette, alias "Koki," murdered seven members of the less powerful gang of Elvis Eduardo Castro Troya, alias "El Culón." These two groups are fighting for control of Cota 905, a populous neighborhood with high levels of violence, southwest of Caracas.

The massacre occurred after members of the Castro Troya gang murdered two soldiers from the Bolivarian National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivariana – GNB) and the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar – DGCIM). The double homicide was considered as a breach of an unwritten criminal rule, which prohibits the killing of police or military officials in the area.

SEE ALSO: Venezuela: A Mafia State?

It is believed that Koki -- one of the most notorious criminals in Venezuela -- acted to defend alleged peace agreements passed with members of the government, which allowed his mega-gang to operate in Cota 905, on the condition of not interfering with public officials.

This territory had been declared a "Peace Zone" in 2015, as part of a security policy where government authorities reached agreements with criminals to reduce violence in exchange for territorial control. Although the pact was broken that same year due to the application of the Operation Liberation and Protection of the People (Operación de Liberación y Protección del Pueblo -- OLP), an anti-crime policy that saw criminals exterminated in poor neighborhoods, it was re-activated in late 2017 for Cota 905.

InSight Crime Analysis

The massacre carried out in the Cota 905 neighborhood by a gang which has supposedly been targeted by the government since 2015 but conveniently never dismantled, fits in the "pax mafiosa" that has ruled in certain parts of Venezuela.

In these areas, the state has completely delegated its power to criminal groups, such as the mega-gangs which impose their own rules in the territory they control.

SEE ALSO: ‘Mega-Gangs': The Latest Criminal Collective in Venezuela

This meant that, after the two soldiers were killed, the state did not need to intervene or to prosecute those responsible in court. The Koki mega-gang was simply sent in to replace the state to apply its own brand of "criminal justice."

Non-aggression pacts between security forces and the gangs have been promoted by the highest levels of the Venezuelan state. In 2013, the then deputy minister of public safety, José Vicente Rangel Ávalos, initiated these "negotiations" between the government of Venezuela and the mega-gangs.

In August 2017, current vice-president and then president of the National Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodríguez, visited Cota 905 with other officials and said "we are being careful for any kind of overreaching that could be carried out by state security bodies in Cota 905." InSight Crime sources revealed that during Rodríguez's visit, a meeting took place between officials and Koki. 

This laissez-faire by the Venezuelan government has directly led to the strengthening of the mega-gangs and the extension of their control over Cota 905 and other neighborhoods south of Caracas, turning these areas into so-called "corridors of death."

These gangs feel like they can act with impunity, as exemplified by a video of Koki and his friends openly dancing at a party in their neighborhood.

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 / 2 SEP 2021

The Urabeños, one of Colombia's dominant drug groups, are seemingly ramping up operations along the Colombia-Venezuela border – a gambit…

CACHIROS / 24 OCT 2019

The US drug trial against the brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández brought the nexus between organized crime and…

ECUADOR / 20 JAN 2020

The criminal, economic and political dynamics behind illegal gold rushes this past year in Venezuela and Ecuador were very different.

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…