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Cuban Doctors Used in Extortion Scheme by Venezuelan Gov’t

A new investigation has revealed how Cuban doctors are used by the Venezuelan government in an extortion scheme to remain in power, revealing new forms of criminal collaboration between the regime of Nicolás Maduro and Havana.

Venezuela Mega-Gang Shatters ‘Pax Mafiosa’ by Murdering Rivals

A dangerous mega-gang of Venezuela has massacred the 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.

Venezuela Mega-Gang Leader Seen Partying, Symbol of State Abandonment

A short cellphone video of a "mega-gang" leader in Venezuela shows him relaxed, partying and seemingly thumbing his nose at the government.

Capture of Venezuela Mega-Gang in Peru is Ominous Sign for Region

The recent capture of several members of a Venezuela criminal group in Peru illustrates how criminals in the troubled Andean nation are migrating and sometimes carrying their criminal habits with them.

Venezuela security forces watch demonstrating protestors

Could Dissent in Venezuela Military, Judiciary Crack Maduro’s Criminal Regime?

Cracks have appeared in Venezuela's increasingly criminal regime. Dissidence has set in within the military, which is propping up the flailing government, and a key opposition leader is calling for more soldiers to defect, while the attorney general continues to challenge the president. 

This week's Facebook Live stream tackled prisons

Weekly InSight: Latin America’s Prison Dilemma

In our June 1 Facebook Live, co-directors Steven Dudley and Jeremy McDermott spoke about InSight Crime’s special investigation of prisons and their often overlooked impact on organized crime in the region.

President Nicolás Maduro in a recent military display

Dark Times in Venezuela Signal Bright Future for Organized Crime

Whatever happens following "the mother of all protests" in Venezuela on April 19, political uncertainty looks guaranteed and will be embraced by organized crime. Below, InSight Crime looks at some of the potential scenarios in Venezuela's short-term future, and their criminal implications.

Venezuela's General Penitentiary, the site of the mass grave

Mass Grave in Venezuela Prison Signals Authorities’ Lack of Control

The recent discovery of a mass grave in a Venezuela prison highlights the dangerous conditions that prevail in the country's penitentiary system, as well as the inability of authorities to effectively maintain order in penal facilities.

The Maduro government has created conditions that have allowed for the accelerated growth of criminality and organized crime.

GameChangers 2016: Criminality and Organized Crime Thrives in Venezuela

This year has brought Venezuela to its knees -- economically, politically and socially -- providing organized crime with extremely fertile ground.

Train of the Plain

"El Tren de Llano" (Train of the Plain) is one of the first so-called "megabandas" or criminal gangs to develop in Venezuela. The criminal enterprise is active in drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping and murder and was known both as "El Tren de Llano" and "El Picure," the street name of its formidable founder José Antonio Tovar Colina, one of Venezuela’s most wanted criminals until he was killed by the Bolivarian National Guard in May 2016.

Franklin Paúl Hernández Quezada, alias "Franklyn Masacre," one of Venezuela's "pranes"

Venezuela Prison Bosses Wield Power Behind Bars and On Streets

New photos show the privileged lifestyle enjoyed by Venezuela's "pranes," a reminder that these prison bosses have achieved widespread control over the country's failing penitentiary system and are now projecting their power onto the streets. 

Venezuela launched its OLP security initiative in July 2015

Extrajudicial Killings Accompany Venezuela Security Raids

Experts say extrajudicial killings have jumped alarmingly since the Venezuelan government began a new anti-crime initiative last year, further suggesting that security forces could be involved in death squad-like activity.