A political mural in Cuba

The US hasn't provided any specific details about what a historic new deal with Cuba means in terms of security and counternarcotics policy -- an area where limited collaboration between the two countries already exists -- but the restored relationship is nonetheless promising on many fronts.  

Colombian drug capo 'Don Mario'

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has signed the order that will send drug trafficker and former paramilitary chief Daniel Rendon Herrera, alias "Don Mario," to the US, following a drawn out case that has raised questions relevant to the current peace process with the FARC guerrillas. 

Police in Jamaica's capital, Kingston

Jamaica is on track to report just over 100 killings by police officers this year, drastically lower than the 258 reported fatal shootings by security forces in 2013 -- a reduction that could be partly attributable to the work of an anti-impunity commission set up in 2010. 

Mexico vigilante leader Hipolito Mora

A two-hour gun battle between rival Rural Defense Force factions in Mexico reportedly left 11 people dead, a sign that elements of this government-supported force remain caught up in a conflict involving interests distinct from defending local communities from extortion and other threats.

Former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli

Panama, one of the most peaceful countries in Central America, reportedly spent about 7 percent of its GDP on preventing and dealing with violence last year, far less than its neighbors. However, expanding gang presence and police corruption threaten to undermine Panama's recent and undeniable security gains.

Federal police near a mass grave in Iguala

A journalistic investigation casts serious doubts on the official version of the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico, alleging that federal police participated in the attacks and that suspects were tortured before confessing.

A police special forces officer in Rio de Janeiro

Police in Rio de Janerio have staged protests against rising anti-police violence. But are the growing numbers of murders the result of a general deterioration in security, or is Brazil facing another war between the police and organized crime?

Minister Urresti announcing the property seizures

Authorities in Peru have dismantled a drug trafficking clan and seized over $11 million dollars in assets in a case that sheds light on the nature of Peruvian organized crime and drug trade.

Armed groups proliferate in the Mexican state of Guerrero

The disappearance and presumed death of 43 student protesters in Iguala, Guerrero has sparked concerns of a new surge of guerilla movements in southern Mexico, but just how likely is it?

One of the signs held by protesters

Vigilantes in Michoacan, Mexico recently set up blockades in nine municipalities to protest government inaction and call for the dissolution of the state-mandated force created earlier this year, raising questions about why they have chosen to reassert themselves now after several months of relative quiet.