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Consolidation of organized crime in the Orinoco Mining Arc (OMA): the control of illegal mining, human trafficking, and other crimes

Lambertini, Sara Mariella (2023) Consolidation of organized crime in the Orinoco Mining Arc (OMA): the control of illegal mining, human trafficking, and other crimes. Journal of Illicit Economies and Development, 5 (1). 22 - 33. ISSN 2516-7227

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Identification Number: 10.31389/jied.144


The Orinoco Mining Arc (OMA) is in the south of Venezuela, a region rich in minerals and natural resources with a particular social, economic, and security dynamic. Due to its remoteness and difficult access, different actors have found a privileged space to conduct criminal activities. Venezuela has ratified the international conventions against transnational organized crime, trafficking in persons, and illicit drug trafficking. It also has national legislation criminalizing all these illicit activities. However, factors such as corruption and government inefficiency have led to impunity and a lack of implementation of legislation. Moreover, the complex social and economic situation in the country has forced part of the population to yield to the pressure of criminal groups operating in the mining sector. The research exposes the consolidation of organized crime groups in the OMA and their control of illicit activities in the area, such as illegal mining, human trafficking, and drug trafficking, among others. A documentary investigation is conducted to review the reports prepared by international organizations, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations on Venezuela, as well as the Venezuelan legal framework and the official information issued by national authorities. The results indicate that organized crime has taken root in the OMA, generating an overlap between national and foreign actors. These actors lead the perpetration of a variety of illegal activities thanks to a criminal network, state corruption, and the vulnerability of the region’s inhabitants.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2023 14:21
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2024 23:14

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