Illegal gold mining is big business in Peru

The inside story of the companies accused of financing South America's illegal gold trade.

Anibal Fernandez

Allegations that a prominent Argentine politician played a top role in an ephedrine trafficking ring raises the possibility that the drug trade has co-opted Argentina's most powerful elites.

Escaped Salvadoran gang members

Six leaders of El Salvador's MS13 street gang escaped from police custody, drawing attention to the role that official corruption plays in hindering criminal justice reform in this Central American nation. 

El Salvador's gangs want a new truce

The conclusions of a recent study examining the outcomes of gang truces in Latin America suggest a new peace agreement between the Barrio 18 and MS13 in El Salvador may only lead to increased violence in the long term. 

Perez Molina's property in Izabal

Allegations have surfaced of irregular behavior in land purchases by Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina, triggering further speculation that the embattled president's term in office could come to a premature end. 

Photo of El Chapo

A Mexico City judge has accepted a US extradition request for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a sharp turn from Mexico's previous stance on sending the fugitive drug lord to the United States. 

Freddy Rendon, alias "El Aleman"

A former Colombian paramilitary leader with extensive links to organized crime has been released from prison, which may have significant consequences for Colombia's underworld and the country's largest drug trafficking group, the Urabeños.

An "El Chapo" wanted poster

To aid in the search for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico has solicited advice from the Colombian officials who hunted Pablo Escobar -- an attention-grabbing move that is nonetheless unlikely to improve the government's chances for a quick recapture of the fugitive drug lord. 

Military truck under heavy guard

A gang-enforced transportation strike in El Salvador has now left seven bus drivers dead, raising doubts about how long the government can refuse to meet the demands of the street gangs, in what has become an increasingly deadly game of chicken.

Peru's president has declared that drug traffickers are no longer a "parallel power" in a major coca producing valley that has long been a guerrilla stronghold for the Shining Path. However, coca cultivation figures from the United Nations contradict the president's narrative.