One of Venezuela's most wanted criminals, known as "El Conejo" (the rabbit), has been killed, the government announced Friday, shortly after authorities put a one-million-dollar bounty on his head.

Gomez Rodriguez was the head of a criminal gang, known by its chief's pseudonym, which operated in the central-northern state of Aragua.

According to a police source, Gomez Rodriguez owed his nickname to his prominent teeth.

"Carlos Enrique Gomez Rodriguez, known as 'El Conejo'... wanted for the crimes of terrorism, extortion, kidnapping, murder and other crimes, has been killed," said Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos in a statement broadcast on state television.

The minister did not divulge how he was killed but suggested it was related to a security forces operation that had lasted "several months" throughout the country but particularly in Aragua.

Security forces had also arrested 36 criminals and seized "16 weapons, war materials, portable radios, motorbikes and telephones," he said.

Gomez Rodriguez had been sought for more than a year, with authorities in February announcing the one million dollar bounty following an exchange of gunfire with police.

That sum is more than 186,000 times the minimum monthly salary in impoverished Venezuela.

In February 2022, another criminal leader, Carlos Luis Revette, was also killed. Authorities had a $500,000 bounty on his head.

Venezuela is, alongside Honduras, the most violent country in Latin America, with close to 11,000 violent deaths between 2021 and 2022, according to the independent Venezuelan Violence Observatory.