News

FARC splinter groups are forming around Colombia

Authorities in Colombia have seized close to $100 million in assets allegedly belonging to FARC dissidents, as the state begins the mammoth task of identifying and dismantling the vast illicit interests that are being taken over by criminalized guerrilla splinter groups.

Colombia has seen a recent surge in coca farmer blockades against eradicators

Colombia's rural communities stand to gain -- and potentially lose ­-- the most as the country's 50-year-old armed conflict turns a new leaf. Coca-growing communities fear that they will lose the financial security of their drug crops, while a lack of security guarantees for social leaders has led to a surge in assassinations. As tensions rise in the countryside, civilian resistance may also gather strength.

Venezuelan businessman Samark López

Reports have emerged that a Venezuelan businessman and alleged drug kingpin with ties to the sitting vice president imported state-controlled foods at hugely inflated prices, exemplifying the deep networks of corrupt financial and political elites, who are bleeding the state coffers dry as many civilians go hungry.

Colombian President Santos visiting a FARC concentration zone

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos said the FARC guerrillas have completed their transition into special concentration zones, but questions remain about the number of insurgents still left in the field and how the next steps in the demobilization process will pan out. 

Evidence of "Islamic terrorism" in Latin America is thin.

Over the past two weeks, a familiar narrative has been resuscitated: the threat of "Islamic terrorism" emanating from Latin America, through the revival of one of its most important sub-narratives: the threat posed by Venezuelan authorities illegitimately granting passports to presumed terrorists in the Middle East.

Investigations

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How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation, journalist Carlos García tells the story of how a member of the MS13 entered the methamphetamine distribution business under the powerful auspices...

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

Local police and justice officials are convinced that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) has strengthened its presence along the East Coast of the United States. The alarm follows a recent spate of violence -- of the type not seen in a decade -- which included dismembered bodies and...

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

Special Agent David LeValley headed the criminal division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Washington office until last November 8. While in office, he witnessed the rise of the MS13, the Barrio 18 (18th Street) and other smaller gangs in the District of Columbia as well...

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Former Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla -- a decorated war hero and a longtime US ally -- finds himself treading water amidst a flurry of accusations about corruption and his connections to drug traffickers. López Bonilla is not the most well-known suspect in the cases against...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...