On 30 December, an article from Insight Crime said that Venezuelan gangs now rival their Colombian counterparts in numbers and firepower, and are using the devastated country as a springboard for international expansion, even while the coronavirus pandemic rages around them. This, it says, is exemplified by Tren de Aragua (Train of Aragua), Venezuela’s premier “megabanda,” or large criminal network which, it says, now commands a noteworthy and diversified criminal network, using Tocorón as a nerve centre to control members throughout the Venezuelan prison system and a federation of affiliated groups on the outside. Prior to 2020, Tren de Aragua’s presence had already been reported on the Colombian and Brazilian borders, and as far away as Peru. However, it is far from the only Venezuelan gang to have spread its tentacles into neighbouring countries, but serves to shine a light on how a number of prominent Venezuela megabandas are following in its footsteps.
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