The notorious “Syndicato Gang” from Venezuela, which has a long history of attacks on Guyanese in borders locations, remains a matter of serious concern, says Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force Brigadier Godfrey Bess.
“The Syndicato threat, it’s still there because we all are aware of the situation in Venezuela where the country its poorly led and their economic and social issues that force non-State actors to survive,” Bess told media operatives on Tuesday.
“Because of our border with Venezuela we definitely are affected by that, but I must say that we, the Guyana Defence Force, we are ever vigilant and we continue to work to ensure that the citizens of Guyana are safe.”
In September of 2020, ranks of the GDF came under fire from some Syndicato Gang members while they were conducting a routine joint patrol in the Cuyuni River, Region Seven.
It was reported that the gang has been terrorising persons on both sides of the border, including miners, demanding payments for safe passage.
Due to the increase in attacks on Guyanese, especially miners, by the Syndicato gang, the police had increased their presence in several areas along the Cuyuni River.
In January 2019, a man suspected to be a member of the Syndicato Gang was killed after security officers held off an attack that lasted for over an hour at a mining camp at Black Water, Cuyuni, Region Seven.
In October 2019, four Venezuelan nationals who were suspected to be members of the Syndicato Gang were arrested at Port Kaituma, Region One.
In 2018, the Syndicato Gang struck horror in the hearts of many when a video emerged of the criminal group beheading a Guyanese man in Venezuela. At the time, the matter reached the level of the National Security Committee.