The Zetas, Mexico’s most feared and violent criminal organization, have moved operations to Guatemala, penetrating local police forces and the military. They have made alliances with locals that permit them to launder their proceeds through agribusiness and public works contracts. They have also introduced a new way of operating. Beyond controlling the distribution chains and infrastructure needed to run the day-to-day operations, the Zetas are focused on controlling territory. In this they are the experts, creating a ruthless and intimidating force that is willing to take the fight to a new, often macabre level.
A report on Guatemala's registry of state contracts has identified several major issues that have dampened the effectiveness of what could be a powerful tool to fight corruption through improved transparency. Read More
A new report claims the lack of a comprehensive strategy has limited the effectiveness of US security initiative CARSI in Central America's "Northern Triangle," highlighting how divergent political interests can undermine bilateral security assistance programs. Read More
From stealing chickens to hiding millions discovered in remote jungles, security forces in Latin America have been involved in a number of high-profile thefts. InSight Crime counts down the top heists committed by police and military in the region. Read More
Paraguay's president has once again been identified as a beneficiary of Latin America's contraband cigarette trade, this time in Mexico, where black market cigarettes finance criminal groups like the Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel. Read More
A quantitative assessment of USAID’s community crime prevention work in Central America suggests that these programs have a significant positive impact on citizen security -- some of the first empirical evidence supporting such strategies, though plenty of questions remain about how to make these results sustainable. Read More