Cartel de los Soles News

Venezuela Pilot's Arrest May Hold Clues to Cartel of the Suns

Venezuela Pilot's Arrest May Hold Clues to Cartel of the Suns

The recent arrest of a former army captain who allegedly piloted drug planes for Venezuela's Cartel of the Suns could be an indication that the shadowy network of military officials is stepping up its involvement in cocaine trafficking.

Cartel de los Soles Profile

Cartel de los Soles

Cartel de los Soles

The term “Cartel of the Suns” (Cartel de los Soles) is used to describe shadowy groups inside Venezuela’s military that traffic cocaine. It is in some ways a misleading term, as it creates the impression that there is a hierarchical group, made up primarily of military officials, that sets the price of cocaine inside the country. There are cells within the main branches of the military -- the army, navy, air force, and National Guard, from the lowest to the highest levels -- that essentially function as drug trafficking organizations. However, describing them as a “cartel” in the traditional sense would be a leap. It is not clear how the relationship between these cells works, although rivalries between them has apparently turned deadly in the past.

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