News Analysis

'Drug Charges Against Ex-Guatemala Officials are Tip of the Iceberg'

'Drug Charges Against Ex-Guatemala Officials are Tip of the Iceberg'

Edgar Gutiérrez spoke with elPeriódico about how the relationship between organized crime and political power has evolved in Guatemala. Gutiérrez, who served as foreign chancellor during the administration of former President Alfonso Portillo, says Guatemala has reached a stage where politicians and organized crime mutually benefit from one other, making the fight against corruption that much more difficult. 

News Briefs

In Targeting Powerful Drug Clan, Honduras Follows Familiar Script

In Targeting Powerful Drug Clan, Honduras Follows Familiar Script

Authorities in Honduras have seized properties belonging to a major drug trafficking clan, a move that in the past has...

Major Colombian Drug Trafficker Detained in Nicaragua

Major Colombian Drug Trafficker Detained in Nicaragua

Nicaragua's authorities have detained Amauri Carmona Morelos, putting an end to the criminal career of one of the most prominent...

US Drops Names From 'Kingpin' List, Accused of 'Lacking Rigor'

US Drops Names From 'Kingpin' List, Accused of 'Lacking Rigor'

The United States has dropped almost two dozen Latin American entities from its notorious drug "kingpin" list, exemplifying how difficult...

Argentina Border Town 'Was Run by Narco-Politics': Minister

Argentina Border Town 'Was Run by Narco-Politics': Minister

A string of arrests has led Argentina's Security Minister to denounce the links between drug trafficking and local politics in...

US Indicts Fmr Guatemala VP, Fmr Interior Minister on Drug Charges

US Indicts Fmr Guatemala VP, Fmr Interior Minister on Drug Charges

A US federal court has indicted the former vice president and the former interior minister of Guatemala on cocaine trafficking...

Bolivia Raises Coca Cultivation Limits, Widens Legal Supply-Demand Gap

Bolivia Raises Coca Cultivation Limits, Widens Legal Supply-Demand Gap

Bolivia's government has agreed to raise permitted levels of legal coca production after violent protests by farmers, in a move...

Investigations

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'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

Special Agent David LeValley headed the criminal division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Washington office until last November 8. While in office, he witnessed the rise of the MS13, the Barrio 18 (18th Street) and other smaller gangs in the District of Columbia as well...

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Former Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla -- a decorated war hero and a longtime US ally -- finds himself treading water amidst a flurry of accusations about corruption and his connections to drug traffickers. López Bonilla is not the most well-known suspect in the cases against...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

Local police and justice officials are convinced that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) has strengthened its presence along the East Coast of the United States. The alarm follows a recent spate of violence -- of the type not seen in a decade -- which included dismembered bodies and...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation, journalist Carlos García tells the story of how a member of the MS13 entered the methamphetamine distribution business under the powerful auspices...