Cartel de los Soles News

'Venezuela Never Reported Cocaine Haul in Jet Plane'

'Venezuela Never Reported Cocaine Haul in Jet Plane'

Venezuelan authorities never disclosed that another cocaine haul was discovered in a jet plane earlier this year, raising new questions about the amount of drugs being moved through the country's main international airport to destinations abroad. Read More

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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More Cartel de los Soles News

  • 'Venezuela Never Reported Cocaine Haul in Jet Plane'

    Venezuelan authorities never disclosed that another cocaine haul was discovered in a jet plane earlier this year, raising new questions about the amount of drugs being moved through the country's main international airport to destinations abroad.

  • Release of Ex-Intelligence Chief Highlights Venezuela Official Impunity

    A former intelligence chief from Venezuela accused of drug trafficking and ties to Colombia's FARC guerrillas has been released just days after his arrest in Aruba, illustrating the impunity enjoyed by Venezuelan officials with ties to the government.

  • Ex-Intelligence Chief Arrest Shows Venezuela Military Org Crime Ties

    Authorities in Aruba acting on US orders have arrested a former Venezuelan intelligence chief accused of ties to Colombia's FARC guerrillas and drug trafficking, underscoring the top level collusion with organized crime that plagues Venezuela's military.

  • Italy Cocaine Bust Another Case of Venezuela Military Complicity

    Authorities in Venezuela have detained three security officials linked to a cocaine haul in Italy involving the former secretary of ex-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in the second recent high-profile European drug trafficking case involving Venezuelan public officials.

  • Venezuela: Where the Traffickers Wear Military Uniforms

    In Venezuela the drug traffickers wear camouflage. On the Colombian border, Colombian and Venezuelan guerrillas and the army fight for control of the drug trade. Senior military officers have also been accused of having connections to drug trafficking, but none have been convicted, thanks to their ties to their now deceased commander-in-chief, Hugo Chavez.

  • How Venezuela's Military Tried to Fly A Ton of Cocaine to France

    Behind the biggest cocaine haul in French history were members of Venezuela's military. InSight Crime's investigation reveals the trafficking methods used by corrupt military cells and the covert international police operation that brought the smuggling ring down.

  • Venezuela Sentences Police to 26 Years for Drug Trafficking

    Five police officers have been handed 26 year prison sentences for drug trafficking in Venezuela, in a case that represents a welcome move against corrupt elements in the country's security forces but is unlikely to be part of wider efforts to tackle endemic corruption. 

  • Venezuela Soldiers Arrested For 'Biggest Ever' French Drug Bust

    Venezuela has arrested three National Guard members after more than a ton of cocaine was discovered on an Air France flight traveling from Caracas to Paris, evidence that the military is still involved in major drug trafficking.

  • Ex-Venezuela Army Captain Added to US Kingpin List

    The US Treasury Department has added a former Venezuelan army captain to its list of Specially Designated Drug Traffickers, further proof of the importance of the Venezuelan military to international drug trafficking.

  • Venezuela to Use Military to Fight Crime

    Venezuela will deploy the military to fight crime, a move that will likely increase concerns over the depth of corruption in the armed forces and the possibility that human rights could be compromised in the name of citizen security.