• El Salvador Buses Strike Against Extortion Rackets

    At least two bus routes around San Salvador have been hit by drivers striking to demand that the authorities protect them from extortion demands by gangs.

  • Micro-Extortion Fills Pockets of Colombia Gangs

    Shop owners, bus drivers and street vendors all have to make weekly extortion payments to the many gangs in Medellin, Colombia. The payments are small and difficult to track, but add up to big profits.

  • 'Criminal Organizations Deepen Extortion Activities in U.S.'

    Extortion has long been a favored tactic of drug gangs in Central America and Mexico, but evidence suggests that criminal organizations may be increasingly running these activities from inside the United States, potentially even targeting U.S. businesses and residents.

  • Argentina Arrests 'Chinese Mafia' Members Over Extortion

    Argentina's authorities arrested four suspected members of a gang, two of them from China, who allegedly targeted Chinese establishments for extortion in the area around Buenos Aires.

  • FARC Massacre 7 who Impersonated Rebels in Extortion Racket

    Colombian rebels are believed to be behind the massacre of seven people who pretended to be the FARC in order to extort money, as the guerrillas step up their extortion demands across the country.

  • Rio’s Militias: Fighting Crimes or Committing Them?

    A Brazilian militia's invasion of hundreds of government apartments in Rio, which it then sold on, is another sign of how these vigilante groups seem more interested in committing crimes than in fighting them.

  • Criminal Gangs Control Mexican Territory: Govt

    Mexico's government secretary said that organized criminal groups now control whole areas of territory in the country, and charge fees for other groups to operate there.

  • For Mexican Cartels, Cash is King

    Drug trafficking is the single most lucrative activity for criminal groups in Mexico, but while the supply chain and production methods associated with it are fairly well known, the micro-economic dynamics of the industry are often overlooked.

  • Extortion Rings Run From Colombia's Prisons

    With talk in Medellin about creating a cashless public transport system and moves in Bogota towards installing cell phone signal jammers in prison, Colombian authorities are considering increasingly dramatic measures in order to combat extortion. This is one of the most lucrative yet under-reported criminal enterprises in Colombia, and while official statistics signal that extortion is rising in cities, InSight considers these numbers to be far too low.

  • InSide: The Most Dangerous Job in the World

    Much of the headlines in the region about organized crime are focused on the chase, capture, and sometimes death of infamous criminal leaders. But there are many more subtle battles in motion, which have a far greater impact on every day life in these countries than the fight between the mega-cartels and their rivals, or the government’s efforts to decapitate the most well-known drug traffickers.

    Take, for example, the adventure it must be to ride a public bus in Guatemala. Since 2007, over 500 bus drivers have been killed in violent incidents in Guatemala making driving a bus in that Central American nation arguably the most dangerous profession on the planet. The violence is not limited to the drivers. In 2010, while 155 bus drivers were killed, another 54 bus assistants (so-called ‘brochas’), 71 passengers and 14 presumed criminals were also murdered.