A prison in Venezuela is the epicenter of this operation Train from AraguaA bloodthirsty criminal gang quickly spread its tentacles in several Latin American countries.
The organization originated at a railway construction site within the union in the early 2000s. He jumped from commissions for jobs to extortion, contract killings, drug trafficking and human trafficking.
He is also responsible for brutal mutilation crimes in Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
“It’s not a myth” Rona Risquez, a researcher on armed groups and violence, is reassuring. “It is a powerful organization that has been able to have a presence in many countries in the region.”
Megaband was formed in the state Aragua (North), where the prison is TokoranA prison center where Hector “Nino” Guerrero, one of the main masterminds of the crime syndicate, is serving his sentence.
Fees for providing jobs in trainIt went as far as kidnapping and robbery on the highways, and then add the other crimes they practice today.
The organization was born a decade ago, although it was nicknamed “NinoWhen she took office in 2013 she was the one who took her to where she is today TokoranIt has its law”take it” (prisoner leader).
“While in jail, search conditions are a Banda: Seizing a territory, a population, weapons, imposing their law, handling money”, explains criminologist Mario Marmol.
population Punishment He is the first victim: he inoculates to eat, sleep and meet in court.
In economic crisis Venezuela Created a “Lost opportunities for crime”, Led many members train of Aragua A to join A The migrant spiral that occurred seven years ago refers to Roberto Briseno León, director of the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV). “Part of the businesses were curtailed due to lack of money, for example, to pay for smuggling.”
The first movement is towards the border areas. “They realized there was a ‘career’ opportunity in immigration and they made Venezuelan immigrants their first victims. Risquez notes.
The first cases in other countries were reported between 2016 and 2018.
This activity extended to the eastern region as well Venezuela Efforts should be made to curb drug trafficking to the Caribbean Islands.
The brutality displayed in Colombia “responds to experience criminal Antiquity in that country points out that it must “demonstrate great strength, influence, and cruelty” to prevail in the territories. Briseno.
According to Marmol, mutilation is a common practice in Venezuelan prisons. “They have that training, and they use it when that perverse characteristic and situation warrants it: cut him down, decapitate him, an attacker with multiple bullets. That’s his brand.”
In its extension, train of Aragua Faced in Colombia, for example, are rival gangs and even FARC dissidents Venezuela.
The size is not clear Banda, but Rísquez reckons “there are thousands”. Between 1,000 and 2,000, Marmol estimates.
“They are not the Sinaloa cartel, but they can maintain drug trafficking, extortion and smuggling operations.” clarifies Rísquez who maintains it “Everything is managed Tokoran”.
However, Briceño rejects “a vertical system”. “They work in alliances like owners: they use the symbol, the name, promote terrorism and recruit people internally”, getting “logistical support”. Venezuela.
“It’s a model they copy from certain units in Brazil,” he continues, like the Commando Vermelho. “Loyalty, support is guaranteed and at the same time they receive tributes.”
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