Venezuela: the haven of criminals in American films

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Movies and television series have used the country as a hideout for villains .

Still from the series 'Jack Ryan'

The country has become the main location for drug traffickers in international productions. / Photo: YT-Amazon Prime Video

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: Venezuela: el refugio de criminales en las producciones estadounidenses

Venezuela looked like a promising land many years ago, before the disaster struck in 1998, because it was not only a nation with natural beauties and the material to be a powerful country on the continent, but also because many film producers bet on her to film series and movies. Among these, we can highlight Papillon (1973) with Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen showing the Venezuelan coasts, Murphy's Law (1971) with Peter O Toole walking through the Orinoco Delta, or Arachnophobia (1990) with Jeff Daniels and John Goodman and produce by Steven Spielberg, where we witness the Amazon in all its splendor.

Unfortunately for the country, these productions began to disappear little by little. In addition, in view of the criminal growth and bad relations with the United States government, they began to reflect Venezuela as the perfect lair for the bad guys, that place where there is no extradition and that until not long ago was in the hands practically exclusive of extremists from the Middle East

But beyond that bad image that may be had at this point, American cinema and television still continue to make references to this great country. These are six productions where they reflect that dark side of Venezuela. How many of these have you seen?


One of the most acclaimed drama series in the United States for its similarity to reality and the disputes against terrorism dedicated the first episodes of the third season to Venezuela. The marine suspected of having become a terrorist, and also the protagonist of the series, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), arrives in a boat to the Venezuelan coasts, specifically to Catia La Mar, to later be transferred to the home where he would be hidden and incognito: the Tower of David, in Caracas. Brody, who arrived very badly injured, wakes up and is treated by a doctor, who briefly tells him the story of the abandoned building in the center of the capital. "They call it the Tower of David, it's not because of King David, God forbid. It's because of David Brillembourg, the egotistical banker who commissioned it. Unfortunately, David died, the economy fell, squats arrived, and voila."

True detective

This television production created by Nick Pizzolatto for HBO decided to use the city of Barquisimeto as a destination for the last characters standing to flee in the final episode. Detective Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) flees from Los Angeles with those allegedly responsible for the murder of the second aboard the mayor of the fictional city of Vinci. Before getting on the plane, Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn) informs Bezzerides that he must meet his wife in a square in Barquisimeto called El Obelisco. Once in the state capital Lara, both women are introduced to a nightly street celebration similar to the ones they do there in commemoration of the Virgin Divina Pastora.

Breaking point

In this case, we are talking about the remake that Hollywood made in 2015 and that had Edgar Ramírez as one of its protagonists. As a fact that we cannot skip, the Venezuelan actor usually asks to make references in his films about Venezuela, and for this occasion, the scenes of the final climb in Angel Falls were filmed. The natural beauty captivates more than one, especially when Bodhi (Edgar Ramírez) and Utah (Luke Bracey) end up jumping into the void. But beyond all this, at the moment prior to the arrival of the detective to Venezuelan lands, the comment is made in a meeting of the relationship that the country has to "protect" criminals: "He went to Venezuela. He is skilled, you know that our government does not have an extradition policy with that country. "

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The next three days

A 2010 film starring Russell Crowe in the role of John Brennan, Lara Brennan's (Elizabeth Banks) husband who has been tried for a murder that he claims not to have committed. The couple is forced to devise an escape plan because the appeals were not working, entering Venezuela as the exit for being a nation where the government would not dare to go. On the plane, you can hear how the flight attendant reports that " the flight time to Caracas will be 5 hours and 32 minutes ." Likewise, in another scene, John's father is seen locating Venezuela in a world atlas, while the family is then seen in the back of a taxi as they go down a road near a beach that looks like Vargas state.

House of Cards

Another of the critically acclaimed series in the United States, which can be seen on the Netflix platform, did not miss the opportunity to send one of its "villains" to Venezuela. In the third season, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), the right-hand man of the ruthless Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), grabs a plane bound for the south of the continent to chase a journalist who was delving into the dark affairs of who in the future would be the President of the United States. After several references to the country, Stamper arrives at a dock called Vista Marina in Puerto La Cruz, eastern Venezuela, where he enters the boat of the journalist whom he hits, steals a laptop, and threatens to kill him. On this occasion, the criminal could be said to be part of the government.

Jack ryan

Any resemblance to reality is pure coincidence. CIA agent Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) joins the list of those who claim that Venezuela is one of the biggest threats on a global scale, only this is a fictional character. The second season of this Amazon series focuses on the Latin American country, where the protagonist will try to investigate a shipment of weapons to Venezuela from Russia. Why is the country with the largest oil reserves going through a humanitarian crisis? Not only Ryan wonders but also millions of Venezuelans.