The recent killing of eight people in El Salvador was the kind of massacre that is a trademark of the transnational drug trade, in a country already wracked by violence linked to gangs and police.  

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto has credited his administration’s security strategy for the country’s improved safety, while also asserting that police are underprepared to confront organized crime; both questionable claims worthy of closer inspection.

Amambay prosecutor Valeriana Ferreira

The department of Amambay in Paraguay only has one prosecutor currently working on drug cases, raising questions about the ability of authorities to effectively prosecute these crimes in a key transit point for cocaine and marijuana trafficking in the Southern Cone.

Ecuadorian children are leaving, by the dozens, for the United States. They don't carry visas and they pack light. 

Reports of migrant kidnappings in Mexico rose 1,000%

Reports of migrant kidnapping in Mexico have increased dramatically over a single year, a phenomenon that may be linked to increased migration from Central America, rising kidnapping rates in Mexico, or just better reporting. 

US military commanders are revisiting old concerns that Iranian-backed terrorist groups are operating in Latin America and profiting from the regional drug trade, a somewhat exaggerated fear that nonetheless offers insights into concerns over evolving dynamics between mafia structures and terrorist groups.

Many Latin Americans approve of vigilantism

A recent study shows an alarmingly high support for vigilante justice in numerous countries in the Americas, a phenomenon linked to a lack of faith in often corrupt and inefficient state institutions, as well as other social and cultural factors. 

Marllory Dadiana Chacon Rossell

Marllory Chacon Rossell pleaded guilty on December 12, 2014 to drug trafficking charges in Miami, but she had been collaborating with the DEA and the US Attorney's Office in Florida since 2012. It remains to be seen who she has named and if this act of contrition will reduce her sentence.

A trial scene from the film "Presumed Guilty"

Two investigators recently sat down to discuss Mexico's ongoing judicial reforms, highlighting several shortcomings related to juvenile detention and police procedures that threaten to undermine new policies set to be fully implemented next year.

Former security chief Flavio Buitrago

A prosecutor in Colombia will press forward with charges alleging ex-President Alvaro Uribe's security chief helped a convicted drug trafficker launder money, highlighting longstanding accusations that have been leveled against Uribe's family and members of his former administration.