El Coqui and his Paramilitary Gang Terrorize Caracas Residents – Political Connections

This Wednesday, July 7, the La Cota 905 neighborhood in Caracas experienced an unprecedented episode of violence instigated by the criminal gangs that illegally control this barrio of Caracas. Following the initial events, which could well be classified as terrorism and which continued into Thursday, the Venezuelan government announced the deployment of a new operation to protect and safeguard the security of the people, specifically in the parishes of La Vega, Santa Rosalía, El Paraíso, San Juan and El Valle. This was announced by the Minister of Popular Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace, Carmen Teresa Meléndez, through her Twitter account.

Minister Meléndez explained that the security operation will involve “the control of traffic on roads surrounding these parishes.” Therefore, she added, “our population is asked to avoid vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”

El Coqui attacks follow the Bicentennial and occur in the midst of military promotions: coincidence?
It does not seem to be a mere coincidence or by a stroke of fate that the gang of El Coqui—for some reason recently written as “Koki”—renewed its violent activity in La Cota 905 on the very day that President Maduro was heading a ceremony for promotions of top military officials. In fact, the simultaneous occurrence of the events was used by right-wing spokesmen to question President Maduro.

Much less is it by chance that these threats to public security occur in anticipation of a new decisive electoral process in the country. In the November 21 elections, governors, mayors and municipal heads will be renewed. It is an election decreed by the Constitution, and the product of several political agreements formed between Chavismo and a sector of the national opposition in order to guarantee stability, peace and respect for democracy. It is also necessary to consider the serious possibility of participation by the European Union (EU) as an international electoral observer which, if it transpires, would put an end to the narrative questioning the legitimacy of elections in Venezuela, repeated by certain foreign entities. In addition—incidentally—this Thursday an EU technical delegation responsible for verifying in situ whether the conditions in Venezuela are amenable to EU participation arrived in Caracas, preparatory to the November 21 regional elections.

Gangs financed by Guaidó
A couple of months ago, the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro suggested that these criminal gangs that operate in various Caracas neighborhoods were financed by the extremist opposition of Juan Guaidó, Leopoldo López, and company. Their objective, he warned, is none other than to create chaos and instill collective fear. In addition, the goal is to manufacture the image of an ungovernable country that urgently requires foreign intervention. Other government spokespeople have explained many times that the actions of these criminal groups, evidencing increased firepower in recent months, constitute elements in the hybrid war against Venezuela.

Venezuelan writer and journalist José Roberto Duque believes that “in the absence of a political organization that endangers the government in Venezuela, pro-imperialist factors cling to criminal gangs.”

Finally, Duque surmised in a recent Twitter thread that “there must be some communication between the organized underworld of La Cota 905 and other areas, and the organized underworld in the United States and other countries that loots the resources of Venezuela.”

Guaidó’s widely publicized links with the Colombian paramilitary group Los Rastrojos, for example, are now public knowledge, and should clear any doubts persisting in the minds of deniers.

Guzman Blanco avenue, better known as La Cota 905, is located in a mountainous area. It has entrances from La Vega, General Cemetery of the South, El Valle, Pan-American Highway, El Paraíso and Antímano. The gang that operates there, led by the criminal known as El Coqui, has built tunnels, trenches and sentry posts. This gang possesses high-caliber weapons, rocket launchers, .50 caliber machine guns, trucks, and motorcycles, and has alliances with other criminal groups in the capital. Venezuelan authorities have offered $500,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the capture of the gang leaders.

Roland Camacho, a local journalist who—coincidentally—always seems to be on the scene when similar incidents occur, tweeted that the operation will continue through Thursday night until Friday. He also stressed that at the moment of his post none of the main gang leaders, named El Coqui, El Vampi, and El Galvis, had been captured. He added that security forces including the National Police (FAES), the Special Forces (DCDO), and the special tactical unit UOTE continue to be deployed in the neighborhood, and that the area is being fenced off.



Featured image: CICPC Special Force agent walking near Plaza Madariaga in El Paraiso, Caracas on July 8, 2021. Photo by Orinoco Tribune.

(RedRadioVE) by Lucía Eugenia Córdova, with Orinoco Tribune content

Translation: Orinoco Tribune


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