News Analysis

Rio Olympics: Prospects for Next Round of Favela Occupations

Rio Olympics: Prospects for Next Round of Favela Occupations

As the Olympics approach, Rio’s vaunted Pacifying Police Units (Unidad de Polícia Pacificadora - UPPs) are likely to get another injection of resources and occupy several more favelas. But continued police violence, dipping confidence in the program and the criminal groups’ own evolution may mean the government should rethink its strategy.

News Briefs

‘Zero Cash’ Policy in El Salvador Prisons Thwarted

‘Zero Cash’ Policy in El Salvador Prisons Thwarted

Salvadoran authorities' frustrated attempts to stem cash flows in prisons point to the strength of prison economies in El Salvador...

Honduras' Valle Family Stole Huge Swaths of Land: Report

Honduras' Valle Family Stole Huge Swaths of Land: Report

Evidence of land theft by the Honduras-based Valle family clan sheds light on the modus operandi of one of the...

'Nueva Familia' Announces Arrival amid Michoacán Turmoil

'Nueva Familia' Announces Arrival amid Michoacán Turmoil

"Narco-banners" hung around Michoacán have announced the arrival of a new criminal organization in a sign the underworld in the...

Argentina Follows the Money in Human Trafficking Investigations

Argentina Follows the Money in Human Trafficking Investigations

Argentine prosecutors are pursuing money laundering investigations into alleged human trafficking organizations suspected of hiding millions of dollars in illicit...

Former El Salvador President Denies Giving Perks to Gangs

Former El Salvador President Denies Giving Perks to Gangs

Former El Salvador President Mauricio Funes rejected claims that his administration provided perks to gang leaders for their participation in...

Venezuela President Increases Personal Security Amid Economic Crisis

Venezuela President Increases Personal Security Amid Economic Crisis

Venezuela's embattled president is increasing his own security and that of his close associates, digging in as the country faces...

Investigations

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Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

As Guatemala's Congress gears up to select new Supreme Court Justices and appellate court judges, InSight Crime is investigating how organized crime influences the selection process. This story details the interests of one particular political bloc vying for control over the courts and what's at stake: millions of ...

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

 Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

Well-armed vigilantes in Mexico's Michoacan state have helped authorities dismantle a powerful criminal organization, but now the government may have a more difficult task: keeping Michoacan safe from the vigilantes and rival criminal groups.

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

After the lower house passed the controversial marijuana bill July 31, Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug, and provide a model for countries looking for alternatives to the world’s dominant drug policy paradigm. ...

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

Whether it is sustainable or not, the truce -- which the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18 put into place March 2012 -- has changed the conventional thinking about who the gangs are and what is the best way to handle the most difficult law and order ...

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Since the end of El Salvador's civil war, the country's police has become a key player in the underworld. This series of five articles explore the dark ties between criminal organizations and the government's foremost crime fighting institution.

Juarez after the War

Juarez after the War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality. InSight Crime looks at the role politicians, police, and for-hire street gangs played in the fighting -- asking who ...