Colombia Detains Alleged Leader of Venezuela Gang Tren de Aragua

(Bloomberg) -- Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced the detention of Larry Amaury Álvarez Núñez, an alleged leader of Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua, which has been linked to a crime wave in countries including Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

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Álvarez, who had 196 Interpol apprehension orders, was arrested by the Colombian police, Petro said in a post on X. Latin American countries including Chile have called for the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to step up in the fight against crime in the region.

Álvarez, known as “Larry Changa,” has been identified by investigators as one of three leaders of Tren de Aragua, sought by Chile and Venezuela on terrorism, kidnapping, money laundering and criminal association charges, according to newspaper Semana. Tren de Aragua’s expansion beyond Venezuela has coincided with the migratory diaspora in the region, with over 7 million people exiting the country over the past decade.

Chile has expressed frustration over Venezuela’s efforts to investigate crimes linked to the group. “Tren de Aragua has hit Latin America as a whole,” Chilean Interior Minister Carolina Toha told Bloomberg last month. “Venezuela has certain international obligations to us and at a multilateral level that it must fulfill.”

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