Tocorón (Venezuela), Sep 23 (EFE).- Venezuela has “completely dismantled” the transnational criminal organization known as the “Tren de Aragua.” This accomplishment comes with the arrest of 88 of its members following a government intervention at the Tocorón prison, located in the state of Aragua (north), where this gang originated. Interior and Justice Minister Remigio Ceballos reported on Saturday.
“We have gained full control of this prison facility and dismantled the so-called ‘ex-Tren de Aragua.’ We currently have 88 individuals in custody who are providing crucial criminalistic information.
They were all members of that group, which its leaders have abandoned,” stated the official.
Tocorón was the prison where the Tren de Aragua criminal organization was first established. It subsequently expanded its operations to Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia, primarily engaging in extortion within the prison, which later evolved into a hierarchical structure with leaders within and beyond the prison.
Ceballos revealed that the criminal organization was involved in “heinous crimes,” including kidnapping, drug trafficking, human trafficking, homicide, contract killings, and extortion.
He assured that investigations and search efforts are ongoing to apprehend all individuals associated with this group, “even at the international level if any members attempt to escape.”
“We are advancing diplomatic coordination and communication, following precise instructions from our President, Nicolás Maduro,” Ceballos added.
He emphasized that Venezuela is strategically positioned to collaborate and assist the law enforcement agencies of neighboring countries and others with whom it maintains continuous contact.
On Friday, Ceballos announced the capture of 87 prisoners who had escaped during the intervention in Tocorón.
During the prison intervention, which involved the deployment of approximately 11,000 security personnel, authorities discovered weapons of war, including long arms, sniper rifles, grenades, explosives, rocket launchers, and various types of ammunition, as reported by the government.
The Executive branch confirmed that the operation resulted in one agent’s death and four others’ arrests with alleged links to criminal networks operating in the area, where activities such as kidnappings, contract killings, and cybercrimes were planned. EFE