Once again, there are significant discrepancies between how much coca the White House estimates is grown in Colombia, versus numbers from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 

A year after Mexico's Tlatlaya massacre, new data show a pattern of lethality and excessive force in confrontations between authorities and civilians, underscoring claims that the government needs to do more in curbing human rights abuses by the security forces. 

Over 3,000 "False Positive" cases are under investigation

A report implicating top Colombian army officers in extrajudicial killings committed by soldiers further illustrates how the criteria used to measure success in the fight against criminal groups can lead to widespread abuse -- a phenomenon seen elsewhere in Latin America.

Brazil's prisons are severely overcrowded

Brazil's House of Representatives has voted in favor of a bill that will see youths tried as adults, a controversial move that is unlikely to deter criminal groups from recruiting minors.

The son of a leader of the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG) has been arrested three times and released twice by Mexico's justice system, highlighting the difficulties authorities face in mounting viable cases against alleged high-level cartel members.

Pre-trail detention contributes to prison overcrowding

A report from a non-governmental human rights organization highlights the poor conditions of Honduras' prisons, an issue exacerbated by judicial delays and the practice of pre-trail detention, which has led to severe overcrowding.

Miguel Angel Alfaro, alias "El Flaco"

In a case that exemplifies why the Urabeños remain Colombia's pre-eminent drug trafficking organization, Colombia is set to extradite an alleged Urabeño intermediary with Mexican criminal groups to the US. 

A Salvadoran drug sniffing dog

Drug traffickers are reportedly increasing their use of maritime routes to carry cocaine through El Salvador, a sign that criminals continue to adapt in accordance with interdiction efforts. 

Extortionists burn buses to intimidate victims

Statistics suggest that the Northern Triangle -- El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras -- constitutes the world's epicenter for extortion, illustrating the importance of street gangs and the extent this crime has taken root.

Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina

Guatemala's Constitutional Court rejected a petition that would have granted at least a temporary reprieve to President Otto Perez Molina from a congressional corruption probe. The decision raises questions about the uncertain future of political leadership in a country already facing serious security and governance challenges.