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Cartel of the Suns

The “Cartel of the Suns” (Cartel de los Soles) is the term used to describe the shadowy groups inside Venezuela’s military that are involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including gasoline smuggling, illegal mining and other corruption schemes, but primarily drug trafficking.

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CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 1 SEP 2022

InSight Crime charts the history of cocaine from agricultural extract to the basis of global criminal empires.

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 5 MAY 2022

InSight Crime has presented its latest report, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution, the result of three years of investigation by the Venezuelan…

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

In October 2021, the Venezuelan Ministry of the Interior issued an ordinary looking statement about an antinarcotics operation in the…

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

In 2013, Nicolás Maduro became president of one of the world’s most important cocaine hubs, inheriting a unique drug trafficking…

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

On April 3, 2021, police in the east Venezuelan state of Anzoátegui acted on a tip-off to intercept a silver…

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 2 MAY 2022

In 2016, two adopted nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro were found guilty of a conspiracy to bring 800 kilograms…

Key Actors

Samark López Bello

VENEZUELA / JANUARY 15, 2023

Samark López Bello is a Venezuelan businessman and currently a fugitive from American justice facing charges of laundering drug money.

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Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

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Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

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World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

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InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

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Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

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Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

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