Elites and Organized Crime

  • El Salvador Detains Officials in Ongoing Fight Against Corruption

    Some of the captured individuals in El Salvador

    El Salvador has taken down a network of colluding officials from within its judiciary, a sign that the momentum against corruption propeled by Attorney General Douglas Meléndez remains strong.

  • Venezuela Ex-Official Implicates President’s Son in Drug Trafficking

    Nicolás Maduro Guerra, alias "Nicolasito"

    Another former Venezuelan official now in the United States has accused President Nicolás Maduro's son of drug trafficking, and connected powerful members of the regime to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel. But are his claims against the notorious regime genuine?

  • El Salvador Gang Truce Was ‘State Policy’: Trial Testimony

    The trial regarding El Salvador's controversial gang truce underway

    A trial has begun in El Salvador against several officials for their alleged illegal activity related to a controversial gang truce between 2012 to 2014. The testimony and evidence presented is poised to shed new light on the links between politicians and gangs in the Central American country.

  • Guatemala Authorities Reveal New Details in Byron Lima Murder Case

    Late Byron Lima in handcuffs

    Authorities in Guatemala have made several arrests and revealed previously-unknown details regarding the slaying of Byron Lima, the one-time "king" of the country's prisons. The new revelations suggest that there may have been more than one motive for the murder.

  • Crime Groups 'Persist' in Guatemala's Customs System: Defense Minister

    Guatemala's port of Santo Tomás de Castilla

    Guatemala's Defense Minister has denounced that criminal groups continue to infiltrate the country's customs system, suggesting that deeper structural reforms are needed to combat corruption within this institution.

  • Peru Mayor's Arrest Reveals Ties to Drug Trafficking and Terrorism

    David Bazán Arévalo, mayor of Tocache, Peru

    On July 26, Peru's counternarcotics police arrested David Bazán Arévalo, the mayor of Tocache, on charges of financing and supplying weapons of war to a narco-terrorist faction of the Shining Path operating in the Huallaga River region since the 1980s. Ojo Público accessed official documents detailing the investigation of Bazán Arévalo as an alleged member of a drug trafficking organization and as a coordinator and financer of a 2007 terrorist attack that killed a public prosecutor and three police officers in Tocache.

  • US Sanctions on Venezuela President Promise Zero Impact, Experts Say

    Experts expect US economic sanctions against Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro to have zero impact

    The rare move by the United States to place economic sanctions on Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro will do little to reduce criminality within his regime and across his beleaguered country. The question is whether matters could get worse in criminal terms.

  • How Odebrecht Profited From Corrupting LatAm Political Elites

    The logo of Brazil's once-mighty construction giant, Odebrecht

    On December 21, 2016, the US Department of Justice and Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht reached a record-setting anti-corruption settlement that revealed Odebrecht spent hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to secure public works contracts in twelve different countries across three continents. Half a year later, InSight Crime takes a deep dive into the nature of Odebrecht's corrupt activities in Latin America, the extent of its illicit practices, the state of the various ongoing investigations into the company and its projects, and the web of corruption that continues to engulf some of the region's most powerful political elites. 

  • Honduras Tycoon Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in US

    Honduras business behemoth Yani Rosenthal

    One of Honduras' most powerful and politically-connected business tycoons, Yani Rosenthal, has pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge in the United States, suggesting the possibility that he could provide information on other Honduran elites involved in criminal activities. 

  • El Salvador Reworks Asset Forfeiture Law in Favor of Corruption Defendants

    El Salvador's Legislative Assembly

    In a full legislative plenary session, El Salvador's political parties demonstrated their ability to twist regulations intended to fight crime and shield the assets of those suspected to have obtained them illegally. Among those who voted are officials with personal motivations for reforming the asset forfeiture law.