Venezuela Malandros

A gang member stands outside his house in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
Drug dealer Joan, who identifies himself as El Patan, shows his guns and a scar on his stomach from an injury suffered during clashes with rival gangs in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
Gangs patrol their neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
A drug dealer divides crack prior to selling it in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
A drug dealer gets his hair cut at an improvised barber shop in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
Drug dealer Joan, who identifies himself as El Patan, right, sells crack in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
Gangs who identifies themselves as Brown and Gringo have fun during a party in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007.
A drug dealer who identifies himself as El Menor smokes crack in his home in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
A drug dealer who identifies himself as El Menor gestures after smoking crack in his home in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
Drugs dealer who identifies himself as El Menor stands on guard after waking in his home in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007
A drug dealer smokes marijuana as he waits for buyers in Las Mayas neighborhood in Caracas. November, 2007

Oil-rich Venezuela remains a land plagued by crime and a stark gap between the rich and poor, a divide that stubbornly remains despite President Hugo Chavez's efforts to redistribute the nation's wealth.

In the marginalized “barrios” of Caracas, where police presence is scarce and crime rates are high, youth groups called “Malandros” provide security to the inhabitants of the territory they control, wage territory wars with similar groups, and finance their activities through petty drug sales.

Caracas, Venezuela, 2007.