Last weekend, the small town of El Sombrero (in the heartland’s Guárico State) was the location of a major shootout between the authorities and a large criminal gang known as “El Picure,” named after the alias of its leader, and seen in the recent photo above.
Seven members of the gang were killed during the raid, but El Picure himself escaped, and he remains at large. An officer of the CICPC’s SWAT team (B.A.E.) died in the line of duty, while two other agents of the intelligence service (SEBIN) were wounded as well.
As there’s no footage of the operation itself, and the only details released by the Interior Ministry are pretty basic, it’s difficult to imagine the intensity of the shootout. But at least the Twitter account of Diario 2001′s journalist Jenny Oropeza can give us an idea.
She covered the events in almost real time with the help of her sources on the ground, and the TL feels less like a standard police operation and more like a typical action movie.
“El Picure” wasn’t your regular gang of outlaws. Formed in 2008 thanks to the merger of several criminal bands from neighboring Southern Aragua, it became a well-organized group involved in kidnappings, extorsion, murder-for-hire, and drug trafficking. They weren’t afraid to fight security forces – they attacked a police station in Barbacoas back in July – thanks in part to their arsenal of military weapons like assault rifles … and even bazookas.
But how can we know about these bands in advance when we don’t even have our version of a most wanted list. The public could benefit from a bit more information on the ongoing gang wars.