News Analysis

How Trump's Economic Policies Promise to Upset Mexico's Criminal Landscape

How Trump's Economic Policies Promise to Upset Mexico's Criminal Landscape

Donald Trump's election sent a shock wave through Latin America and around the globe, and if his economic promises are met, his inauguration could do the same to Mexico's criminal landscape.

News Briefs

Peru Launches Dual Strategy to Tackle Illegal Mining Boom

Peru Launches Dual Strategy to Tackle Illegal Mining Boom

Peru's government is targeting the illegal gold trade by declaring illegal mining an organized crime activity while launching a new...

Fraud, Contraband Equivalent to 3.5% of Guatemala GDP: Report

Fraud, Contraband Equivalent to 3.5% of Guatemala GDP: Report

Profits from customs fraud and contraband in Guatemala amounted to almost $2.3 billion in 2015 according to a new report...

Arrest of Guatemala First Family Not Yet a Return of Mafia State

Arrest of Guatemala First Family Not Yet a Return of Mafia State

The brother and son of Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales, elected in 2015 on an anti-graft platform, were arrested for their...

Venezuela Govt Proposes Arming Civilians to Combat Crime

Venezuela Govt Proposes Arming Civilians to Combat Crime

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro announced a new package of anti-crime measures that includes giving arms to civilians and charging supervised...

Colombia Govt, ELN Rebels Set Date to Start Formal Peace Talks

Colombia Govt, ELN Rebels Set Date to Start Formal Peace Talks

The government of Colombia and the country’s second-largest guerrilla group announced that they will soon begin formal peace negotiations, a...

Violence in Mexico’s Tourism Epicenter Points to Cartel Conflict

Violence in Mexico’s Tourism Epicenter Points to Cartel Conflict

A recent wave of violence in Mexico's most important tourism corridor has sparked fears about new conflicts between drug cartels...

Investigations

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MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

In October 2012, the US Treasury Department designated the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization (TCO). While this assertion seems unfounded, there is one case that illustrates just why the US government is worried about the future.

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

While there is no doubt that the FARC have only a tenuous control over some of their more remote fronts, there is no evidence of any overt dissident faction within the movement at the moment.

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

When considering the possibilities that the FARC may break apart, the Ivan Rios Bloc is a helpful case study because it is perhaps the weakest of the FARC's divisions in terms of command and control, and therefore runs the highest risk of fragmentation and criminalization.

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

If we are to believe the Colombian government, the question is not if, but rather when, an end to 50 years of civil conflict will be reached. Yet the promise of President Juan Manuel Santos that peace can be achieved before the end of 2014 is simply...

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

In August 2002, the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) greeted Colombia's new president with a mortar attack that killed 14 people during his inauguration. The attack was intended as a warning to the fiercely anti-FARC newcomer. But it became the opening salvo of...

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

On May 27, 1964 up to one thousand Colombian soldiers, backed by fighter planes and helicopters, launched an assault against less than fifty guerrillas in the tiny community of Marquetalia. The aim of the operation was to stamp out once and for all the communist threat in...

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

The United States -- which through its antinarcotics, judicial and police attaches was very familiar with the routes used for smuggling, and especially those used for people trafficking and understood that those traffickers are often one and the same -- greeted the new government of Elias Antonio...

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

Ricardo Mauricio Menesses Orellana liked horses, and the Pasaquina rodeo was a great opportunity to enjoy a party. He was joined at the event -- which was taking place in the heart of territory controlled by El Salvador's most powerful drug transport group, the Perrones -- by the...

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 leader Carlos Lechuga Mojica, alias "El Viejo Lin," is one of the most prominent spokesmen for El Salvador's gang truce. InSight Crime co-director Steven Dudley spoke with Mojica in Cojutepeque prison in October 2012 about how the maras view the controversial peace process, which has...