US Treasury Designates Tren de Aragua as Transnational Criminal Organization

The US Treasury Department has now officially designated the Tren de Aragua criminal group as Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO). The announcement reads below:

“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Tren de Aragua, a Venezuela-based transnational criminal organization that is expanding throughout the Western Hemisphere and engaging in diverse criminal activities, such as human smuggling and trafficking, gender-based violence, money laundering, and illicit drug trafficking.”

Tren de Aragua is the largest criminal organization in Venezuela, with over 5,000 members and also the first Venezuelan gang to expand internationally. Tren de Aragua is led by Héctor Rusthenford Guerrero Flores aka “Niño Guerrero”. He was incarcerated in Tocorón prison which functioned as the organization’s headquarters. The gang has since expanded throughout Latin America and the United States amidst the Venezuelan refugee crisis, with the growth of the gang following the migration of Venezuelans to host nations.

Typical tattoo borne by Tren de Aragua, as identified by the Cook Count Sherif’s Office.

The group produces income through human trafficking, human smuggling, bribery, arms trafficking, illegal mining, ransom kidnappings, and money laundering.

These sanctions now allow for the seizure and blockage of persons and property associated with the gang within US jurisdiction.