Meet your friendly neighborhood "colectivo"

Imagine these guys in green fatigues from now on

Last week, 97 irregular armed groups in Caracas (known as colectivos – roughly, left-wing paramilitaries) announced they would surrender their weapons in order to join the government-sponsored Movement for Peace and Life.

In response, Nicolás Maduro has invited their members to do positive things, like join the ranks of the Bolivarian militia.

First things first. For all this time, the government just allowed ninety-seven armed groups to roam freely just because they were “fighting the State terrorism of the Fourth Republic”? Seriously? The level of caradetablismo shown here is massive.

What’s odd is that these groups have proven on multiple occasions their willingness to challenge the authorities – and one another – and all the sudden they magically discover how to coordinate, only to announce they’ve decided to quit? And then they get a formal offer to keep doing what they doing, but in military uniform? Something’s fishy here…

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  1. Fishy? It’s not fishy at all. It’s full shitty. They get the uniforms and the right to carry weapons they usually had to negotiate with the thug-cops. Now they become matones legales.

    • Venezuela’s “Tonton Macoute”, estimated to have made “disappear” some 150M mostly civilian opposition to Haiti’s Duvalier regimes.

  2. Kepler is right. Not only do they become official but they can avoid prosecution for all crimes including murder. “Just following orders” or “acting as part of my duties” is all they need to say.

    Of course, the targets will be the opposition. Crimes against the opposition are not and will not be investigated nor prosecuted. The matones will become commissioned proxies for the national guard military and the police.

    Venezuela is swirling down the drain faster and faster.

    • There’s no evidence to sustain this fear, Ronaldo. For the last 14 years the colectivos have shown much more of a gang mentality: their focus is controlling the territory where they live, not freelancing crime against people who live in other parts of town.

      • Lately they have expanded some from 23 de Enero to other Caracas parroquias, and even to Merida. And now, the Venezuelan sky’s the limit!

      • Maybe the distinction is in the scale. The militares have the logistics to handle the big ticket items, and the malandros work the niche markets and barrios populares where guys with a pension and kids in private school are not comfortable.

  3. Articles on State Responsibility adopted by the UN:

    Article 9
    Conduct carried out in the absence or default of the official authorities The conduct of a person or group of persons shall be considered an act of a State under international law if the person or group of persons is in fact exercising elements of the governmental authority in the absence or default of the official authorities and in circumstances such as to call for the exercise of those elements of authority.


    Article 11
    Conduct acknowledged and adopted by a State as its own Conduct which is not attributable to a State under the preceding articles shall nevertheless be considered an act of that State under international law if and to the extent that the State acknowledgesand adopts the conduct in question as its own.

  4. ISTM that a lot of intelligence gathering is needed (has been for a long time).

    Who are the members of these colectivos?
    What is the authority system within a colectivo?
    What do the members do every day?
    How do they get money?
    What are their relations with
    – the police?
    – the “Bolivarian militia”?
    – political parties?

    Without definite knowledge on these points, discussion seems aimless.


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