InSight Crime is a foundation dedicated to the study of the principal threat to national and citizen security in Latin America and the Caribbean: organized crime.
We seek to deepen and inform the debate about organized crime in the Americas by providing the general public with regular reporting, analysis and investigation on the subject and on state efforts to combat it.
We fulfill this mission by:
- providing high quality and timely analysis of news events linked to organized crime in the region;
- investigating and writing reports on organized crime and its multiple manifestations, including its impact on human rights, governance, drug policy and other social, economic and political issues;
- giving workshops to journalists, academics and non-governmental organizations on how to cover this important issue and keep themselves, their sources and their material safe;
- supporting local investigators through these workshops and by publishing, translating and promoting their work to reach the widest possible audience;
- developing a region-wide network of investigators looking at organized crime;
- presenting in public and closed-door sessions to governments, non-governmental organizations, academics and stakeholders on best practices, strategies and pitfalls in implementing citizen security policy on the ground.
InSight Crime was started in April 2010 by two journalists, Jeremy McDermott and Steven Dudley (meet the InSight Crime team), under the auspices of the Fundacion Ideas para la Paz in Bogota, Colombia, and with funding from the Open Society Foundations. The mission of the organization was to fill a hole created by falling coverage in Latin America and the Caribbean, as foreign media organizations closed down their bureaus, and national media and local NGOs cut back on field research.
The main team established itself in Medellin, Colombia, the historic heart of the cocaine industry. In August 2010, American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) in Washington DC became a sponsor. CLALS set up the project office in Washington, and has provided infrastructure and a place where InSight Crime can interact with the leading academics on this issue.
InSight Crime launched www.insightcrime.org on December 1, 2010, with profiles on groups, personalities, and security initiatives in Mexico and Colombia. Since then we have greatly expanded the number of countries where we provide regular coverage of events and do field research. Today, there is hardly a nation in the region where we have not worked.
In February 2012, the organization legally and formally constituted the InSight Crime Foundation, an independent, non-profit research institution with headquarters in Medellin, Colombia. It currently has offices in Medellin, Colombia, and at American University in Washington DC.
In September 2012, the foundation launched a Spanish language site. Today these two websites form the largest and most comprehensive database on organized crime in the Americas, with more articles being added every day.
Consulting, Training, and More
The two websites are just one aspect of the work of Foundation InSight Crime. Others include:
- Reports - We produce regular reports for multilaterals, governments, academic institutions and non-governmental clients on criminal dynamics and citizen security issues. Most of these are based on extensive field research. Learn more about reports here.
- Trainings - InSight Crime trains journalists and non-governmental organizations on how to investigate organized crime and corruption, and how to minimize risks to themselves and their organizations in the process. Learn more about trainings here.
- Assessments - InSight Crime assesses citizen security projects throughout the region, with a special emphasis on discovering what works and what does not in regard to efforts to combat organized crime. Learn more about assessments here.
See more on what we do.
InSight Crime offers unpaid research internships three times a year: during the Spring semester, during the Summer, and during the Fall semester. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an interest and familiarity with the subject matter. Interns contribute directly to analysis and investigative projects, in addition to basic site maintenance. While our internship program is fairly flexible and we encourage interns to work remotely, it requires a commitment of at least 10-15 hours per week, for periods of no less than three months. We will only accept the number of interns that we can mentor at a given time on a one-on-one basis.
Applicants must have obtained or be working towards an advanced degree in political science, history, criminal justice, international journalism or Latin American studies and are expected to speak and read Spanish or Portuguese in addition to English.
Employment Opportunities at InSight Crime
The Foundation only recruits staff from people who have already written for us or done an internship.