As a key transit point for cocaine shipments destined for Europe and the United States, Venezuela has long been a staging ground for Colombian guerrilla groups and other players in the drug trade. The country has also produced its own brand of criminal actors, including megagangs controlled by prison bosses and powerful government-supported paramilitary forces, known as colectivos. Officials at the highest levels of the government and security have links to organized crime, including a shadowy group within the military dubbed the “Cartel of the Suns.”
Countries across Latin America continue to make stubbornly little progress in the fight against corruption.
Carlos Luis Revette, alias “El Koki,” is one of Venezuela’s most wanted criminals and leader of the “megabanda" that controls the Cota 905 district to the southwest of Caracas.
Wilexis Alexander Acevedo Monasterios has led the gang which bears his name since at least 2017. With between 150 and 200 people in its ranks, the Wilexis gang controls the…
Álex Saab is a Colombian businessman known for making million dollar deals with the Venezuelan government involving prefabricated houses and the state’s food supply program, which has been criticized for…
Samark López Bello is a Venezuelan businessman and currently a fugitive from American justice facing charges of laundering drug money.
Tareck El Aissami is the Minister of Industries and National Production of Venezuela. He has held this position since June 2018, the latest in a series of high-ranking positions in…
A long-touted police reform in Venezuela would likely have a limited impact on rampant corruption in the ranks.
The US is losing allies in Latin America just as production of cocaine, fentanyl, and other synthetic drugs is going through the roof.
Venezuelan authorities claim to have destroyed 40 tons of drugs this year. But are they being fully transparent about their track record?…
Entrenched criminal groups on the Colombia border keep resisting Venezuelan Army efforts to root them out.
Peru is taking steps to tackle the threat of Venezuelan mega-gang Tren de Aragua, and have recently captured 30 members of the gang.