News Analysis

Data Shows Mexico Losing Battle with Organized Crime

Data Shows Mexico Losing Battle with Organized Crime

Results of Mexico's antinarcotics strategy in 2016 show that seizures of all types of drugs and of weapons reserved for military use are down while homicides and the production of synthetic drugs and heroin have increased dramatically.

News Briefs

Venezuela Announces Plan to Combat Rampant Kidnapping

Venezuela Announces Plan to Combat Rampant Kidnapping

Venezuela's interior ministry has announced a new plan to combat kidnapping in the country, but it's doubtful the strategy will...

81 Honduras Police Officers Allegedly Worked for  MS13 Gang

81 Honduras Police Officers Allegedly Worked for MS13 Gang

An internal investigation alleges that 81 police officers in Honduras, including high-ranking officials, have been working for an MS13 gang...

Guatemala Police Seize Country's First Semi-Submersible

Guatemala Police Seize Country's First Semi-Submersible

In a first for drug trafficking in Guatemala, authorities seized a semi-submersible smuggling vessel, pointing to a possible jump in...

Case Against Nephews of Venezuela's First Lady Hits Road Bumps

Case Against Nephews of Venezuela's First Lady Hits Road Bumps

Recent court hearings have called into question the credibility of the primary evidence in a US drug trafficking investigation involving...

CentAm Migrants Suffer Brunt of Mexico Crackdown: Report

CentAm Migrants Suffer Brunt of Mexico Crackdown: Report

Mexico's crackdown against Central American migrants has increased human rights violations and crimes against the migrants, according to a new...

Argentina Rescued Over 10,000 Trafficking Victims in 8 Years

Argentina Rescued Over 10,000 Trafficking Victims in 8 Years

Argentina's government marked the International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Women and Children by highlighting its increased efforts...

Investigations

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Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Guatemala is Central America’s most populous country and its largest economy. But an intransigent elite, an ambitious military and a weak state has opened the way for organized crime to flourish, especially since the return of democracy.

Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

Organized crime is not an abstract concept for me. I grew up in Oak Park, a leafy suburb of Chicago with a population of about 60,000. In general, it was a very low crime city, which is perhaps why many mobsters made their homes there, among them...

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Jorge 40'

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Jorge 40'

Rodrigo Tovar Pupo never imagined it would come to this: dressed in an orange jumpsuit in a Washington DC courtroom and standing in front of a United States federal judge, the grandson of a wealthy Colombian cattle rancher and nephew to a governor was facing a possible...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

As it tends to happen in Honduras, the news began as a well-heeled rumor: Javier Rivera Maradiaga, the oldest of the three Rivera Maradiaga brothers still alive and leader of the feared and powerful Honduran drug trafficking group known as the Cachiros, had handed himself in to...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The 'Huistas'

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The 'Huistas'

In the northwest corner of Guatemala, a little known criminal organization known as the "Huistas" dominates the underworld, in large part due its ties with businessmen, law enforcement officials and politicians.

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Don Berna'

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Don Berna'

By the end of 1993, Pablo Escobar was cornered. The cocaine king -- known as "El Patrón" -- was running out of money and options. His top assassins were either dead or had turned themselves in. Almost all of the senior members of the Medellín Cartel were...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The CICIG

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The CICIG

Like any arm of the justice system, the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala - CICIG) had its battles with elites who used their charm and their muscle to try to influence what and who the celebrated commission...

Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

This project defines organized crime as: a structured group of people that associate on a regular and prolonged basis to benefit from illicit activities and illegal markets. This group can be local, national or transnational in nature, and its existence is maintained using violence and threats; corruption...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

On the morning of April 5, 1988, Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros left his palatial Tegucigalpa estate for a jog. Matta Ballesteros was wanted for murder, drug trafficking and other crimes in several countries, but in Honduras he felt safe. He regularly hosted parties for high-level officials at...

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...