Who is Larry Changa, the founder of Santiago’s Tren de Aragua?
Authorities say he has been in Chile for four years but escaped from the country after the investigations against this criminal gang.
The Tren de Aragua is one of the most notorious criminal groups in Latin America, and its presence in Chile has been a reality for the past couple of years. That’s why Raúl Arancibia, the regional prosecutor of Tarapacá, revealed that one of the leaders of this gang lived in Chile for nearly four years.
This individual is Larry Álvarez Núñez, commonly known as ‘Larry Changa,’ who resided in the country with his partner since 2018. Before his irregular entry into Chile, he was one of the founders of this feared criminal group that originated in 2005. The group is named after a significant railway construction in the town of Aragua, located in north-central Venezuela.
Who is Larry Changa?
The 46-year old hails from Maracay, Venezuela, the capital of the state of Aragua, where he used to work as a laborer. In 2007, he was charged with intentional homicide and aggravated robbery, leading to a sentence of more than 17 years in prison, which he served at the Tocorón prison until 2015 when he decided to escape.
‘Larry Changa’ befriended two other inmates, Héctor Guerrero, also known as the ‘Niño Guerrero,’ and Johan José Romero. Together, they formed the Tren de Aragua, and after his escape, he relocated to Chile, where he settled in Santiago in 2018. He established a café inside the Jockey Club betting shop on Teatinos Street (often personally managed by him), which served as a means to launder money from the organization’s criminal activities.
According to the National Prosecutor’s Office, the individual lived in Chile for four years. However, after the Chilean investigative police (PDI) and the Public Ministry began to scrutinize the criminal gang, he chose to leave the country. His whereabouts remain unknown at this time.