All About Colectivos

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 28 FEB 2019

Is it just me or does Nicolas Maduro look a lot like Saddam Hussein? After US intervention in Iraq, we saw a nation that descended into civil war, mass displacement…

COLECTIVOS / 6 FEB 2019

A new pro-government Venezuelan militia or “colectivo" allegedly trained by Colombian rebels may have posted itself alongside security forces on the Venezuela-Colombia border.

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 11 JAN 2019

The swearing in of Nicolás Maduro for a second presidential term demonstrates just how deeply entrenched organized crime structures are in Venezuela’s government, having helped to sustain a regime marked…

COLECTIVOS / 20 NOV 2018

Three violent events in less than two weeks attributed to pro-government criminal groups in Venezuela’s Bolívar state show how far they have expanded and strengthened in a mining conflict involving…

COLECTIVOS / 18 MAY 2018

They are known by supporters as “knights of steel” on their motorcycles, and as the most ardent defenders of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. Yet now they look more like criminal gangs…

COLECTIVOS / 16 MAY 2018

There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes a "mafia state." Here are seven arguments as to why we think Venezuela qualifies and what the implications are of this…

COLECTIVOS / 28 FEB 2018

A video showing a notorious colectivo leader and alleged criminal embracing high-ranking officials in public provides further credence to the idea these criminalized armed groups enjoy full impunity while serving…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 5 FEB 2018

A small patch of water between Venezuela’s eastern coast and the shores of Trinidad and Tobago has become a dangerous haven for pirates and criminals smuggling contraband between the…

COLECTIVOS / 29 JAN 2018

Venezuela’s continued spiral into economic, political and social crisis and the demobilization of Colombia’s largest guerrilla group have shifted criminal dynamics on the Colombia-Venezuela border, transforming the region into…

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 22 JAN 2018

The editor of one of Venezuela’s most important media organizations denounced that a combination of security forces and groups linked to organized crime have helped the government of President…

COLECTIVOS / 4 OCT 2017

A new investigation provides damning evidence of abuses and criminality associated with a controversial security initiative in Venezuela, adding to mounting concerns about the government's support for the program.

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 1 AUG 2017

The rare move by the United States to place economic sanctions on Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro will do little to reduce criminality within his regime and across his beleaguered country.

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Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

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Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

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Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

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Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

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Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…