After two days of heavy shootings in eastern Caracas, law enforcement agents enter the ‘Cota 905’ area.
Jul 10, 2021
Venezuelan security forces have entered certain areas in the capital, Caracas, seeking to end days of deadly fighting with armed gangs.
No official death toll has been given but local media say a dozen people, including several bystanders, have lost their lives since clashes broke out between gangsters and police in the eastern Caracas neighbourhoods on Wednesday.
“We control the area but there may still be a few snipers,” an officer told the AFP news agency.
The Cota 905 neighbourhood is the main zone of influence of the so-called Koki gang, which faced law enforcement agents with guns several times this year.
Although the leaders of Koki have so far evaded the police siege, the government of President Nicolas Maduro affirmed on Friday that the dismantling of this criminal organisation is under way.
In the parts controlled by the gang, the ground was littered on Friday with bullet casings, evidence of thousands of shots fired in two days, according to images on social media.
“I am going to El Valle [area in southwestern Caracas, where a relative lives], because my children are scared to be there [in Cota 905]; they were crying, so I don’t want to have them there in the house,” Marleni, a Cota 905 resident who did not give a surname, told The Associated Press news agency.
Enrique Alvarez, another Cota 905 resident, said: “We are experiencing a trauma there with those people, since the day before yesterday. That’s what I can tell you, a trauma. One is not used to that.”