So far, 23 deaths have been reported as a result of executions between gangs and clashes between police officers and criminals that occurred in La Vega, a popular Caracas’s neighborhood , last Thursday and Friday, according to data obtained from security agencies. 16 of those deaths occurred on Friday when the Special Actions Force (FAES) and criminals clashed at various points in La Vega.
The violence had its origin in the claims of the Coqui gang (Big criminal organizations that operate in Cota 905 neighborhood), to control the territory of La Vega and Caricuao to turn them into deposits for kidnapped people. “A kidnapping corridor,” commented a police chief.
Such decision was made by Carlos Calderón (a.k.a El Vampi), Carlos Revette (a.k.a. El Coqui) and Garbis Ochoa (a.k.a El Garbis), heads of the criminal group dedicated to kidnapping and drugs dealing, all base operations is on Cota 905 neighborhood. These three criminals agreed last December to set apart Cota 905 neighborhood from the kidnapping business and leave it exclusively for drugs sale. For this reason they agreed to conquer La Vega and Caricuao to use them as deposits for kidnapped people that they would release in exchange for big sums in dollars, according to the investigations.
In order to undertake this criminal expansion plan, a.k.a El Garbis joined a.k.a El Importado, a man recently released from the Penitentiary Center Tocorón, located in Aragua state; a.k.a ‘ The Imported ‘ assumed in December the conformation of a small army that would be present in La Vega. Armed with long and short weapons, they walked through nine key sectors of La Vega, including Calle Zulia, La Cementera, Tamanaco, Valle Fresco, Redoma de la India, Andrés Eloy Blanco and Las Torres. This last point was the most coveted because from that height visibility and movement towards sectors Caricuao, El Paraíso and Cota 905 would dominate.
The plan of territorial conquest of La Vega for criminal purposes continued at the beginning of this year with the imposition of a curfew and protection racket in dollars from merchants in the area, according to a follow-up made by security agencies. Four men defied that curfew and were murdered at dawn on Thursday, January 7, by bandits, an incident that occurred near a park known as “Juan Cuchara”, located in Los Paraparos de La Vega neighborhood.
That same Thursday afternoon, a mismatch occurred between El Importado, responsible for the expansion project, and some members of the small army formed to control La Vega. Apparently they detected an information leak and from La Cota 905, a.k.a Garbis, Revette and Calderón ordered the execution of the four responsible for that leak, which included the launch on social media some videos where secret trails built by the criminal group were viewed. Three involved in this “indiscipline” were killed on Zulia Street and fourth on Cota 905, but his body was dumped in the vicinity of the Hotel Novo, Loyola Avenue, El Paraíso.
With those seven dead in less than 24 hours, the security agencies deemed it convenient to intervene. And this is how on Friday 8th, the area was taken by approximately 100 members of the Special Actions Force (FAES). The uniformed men confronted the cell of El Importado and killed 16, this leader being one of the deceased, according to reports. In the middle of the police operation, 12 people were arrested and 14 firearms and an explosive device were seized.
After the storm, a portion of FAES officials stayed in La Vega. On Saturday afternoon, there were shootings by members of the Coqui gang who tried to retake La Vega. There were no deaths there, according to sources. For now, the expansive plan for criminal purposes of the Coquí gang is neutralized, explained a police chief. “The people are at peace; we have been 15 hours without shootings, “said this official on Sunday at 10 am. The Minister of Interior, Justice and Peace, Carmen Meléndez, already has in her hands a detailed report of the police operation deployed in La Vega.
En supervisión permanentemente en nuestra parroquia la #Vega, nuestro pueblo en Paz! Nuestros organismo de seguridad #PNB apoyando a nuestro pueblo y las autoridades municipales @ErikaPSUV a través de @AlcaldiadeC #Supra recogiendo los desechos sólidos #10Ene pic.twitter.com/bOeF19srzU
— Miguel Domínguez (@MiguelDFAES) January 10, 2021
Some of the criminals killed: