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About This Project
Elites and Organized Crime
is a multiyear project financed by the International Development Research Centre that investigates the dynamics between organized crime and elites in four countries: Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Colombia.
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.
A US federal court has indicted the former vice president and the former interior minister of Guatemala on cocaine trafficking charges, suggesting US officials are skeptical about the ability of the Central American country's justice system to successfully prosecute these powerful figures.
A string of arrests has led Argentina's Security Minister to denounce the links between drug trafficking and local politics in a small town located along the Paragauyan border that serves as a key marijuana smuggling route.
Reports have emerged that a Venezuelan businessman and alleged drug kingpin with ties to the sitting vice president imported state-controlled foods at hugely inflated prices, exemplifying the deep networks of corrupt financial and political elites, who are bleeding the state coffers dry as many civilians go hungry.
Over the past two weeks, a familiar narrative has been resuscitated: the threat of "Islamic terrorism" emanating from Latin America, through the revival of one of its most important sub-narratives: the threat posed by Venezuelan authorities illegitimately granting passports to presumed terrorists in the Middle East.