On 10 May, at least nine suspected criminal gang members were killed and hundreds of arrests were made during police operations in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. The operations were initiated in response to increased criminal activity and to eradicate organised crime and paramilitary-related activities in the city.Flag_of_Venezuela.svg (1)

The government has deployed and additional 3,200 security force personnel to various parts of the city for an indefinite period recently in an effort to combat criminal activity. The operations have focused on the Cota 905 (Avenida Guzmn Blanco), Coche, El Cementerio and El Valle areas.

The operations form part of the government’s Operation Liberation and Protection of the People (OLP), which was launched in July 2015; dozens of related security raids have been conducted since this time.

Crime remains a pressing concern in the country, including in the capital. There are numerous well resourced crime organisations in the country which are involved in various criminal activities, including smuggling. Criminals have increasingly taken advantage of the political and economic stresses in Venezuela to expand operations.