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Seven people were arrested in the northern Chilean city of Arica, bordering Peru, and identified as members of a group belonging to the Venezuelan criminal gang “Tren de Aragua”, the Investigative Police (PDI) reported Thursday.

The operation was carried out on the Chungo hill on the outskirts of Arica, 2,000 km north of Santiago, by more than 100 PDI troops and simultaneously in 23 homes in this irregular neighborhood, said Rodrigo Fuentes, Anti-Narcotics and Contra the North Organized Crime of the PDI in the region of Arica and Parinacota.

“The gang of ‘Los Gallegos’ is an appendage of the ‘Tren de Aragua’ that has the same criminal organization, a specific structure for the purposes of kidnapping, human trafficking, extortion, homicide and drug trafficking,” he stated about the charges of the that the detainees, several Venezuelans and a Chilean, are accused.

During the searches, some 10 firearms with ammunition, grenades and a body buried about a month ago were found, said Prefect Fuentes, who stressed that it is a man between 30 and 35 years old.

The regional prosecutor of Arica and Parinacota, Mario Carrera, pointed out that the body could have been buried alive, although an autopsy is necessary to confirm it.

“The way of committing the crimes of homicide, the way of extorting people or citizens, the truth is that it is an issue that we had not seen before, at least in the last 20 years,” added the prosecutor.

Last March, five other members of this Venezuelan criminal organization were arrested in southern Chile.

pg/atm

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