Raul Mijango speaking with gang members

El Salvador’s gangs have released a new statement promising to reduce violence, but with their top leaders back in a maximum security prison, it is worth asking whether they really have the ability to keep their rank-and-file in line.

Saint George, the warrior saint

A growing number of Rio de Janiero's faithful -- ranging from drug traffickers to police officers -- are reportedly praying to a "warrior saint" for protection, a possible response to the difficulties authorities have faced in reigning in the city's violence.

A burned-out bus in Altamira, Tamaulipas

Violence exploded in northeastern Mexico this week following the arrest of a Gulf Cartel leader, demonstrating the ability of drug cartels to brazenly create chaos in this hotbed of criminal activity.

An MiG-29 fighter plane

Recent claims by Nicaragua that it intends to buy Russian fighter jets for counter-narcotics operations have raised eyebrows in Latin America, and exemplify how the fight against drug trafficking can be used to obscure ulterior motives.

Alleged members of the Urabeños

Authorities in Colombia have captured the leaders of a network that allegedly trafficked cocaine via plane for criminal organization the Urabeños, a reminder of the group's ability to move large quantities of drugs despite a sustained government offensive against them. 

Otto Perez receives the commission's recommendations

Guatemala's president has announced that he will seek to renew the mandate of a United Nations-backed anti-impunity body, extending the lifespan of a controversial effort that, despite several important achievements, has proved unable to sufficiently reform the country's judicial system.

A seized drug plane in Honduras

Honduras and Nicaragua have signed a cooperation agreement for anti-narcotics operations along their shared border, underscoring increased efforts to improve security in recent years. 

Self-defense forces in Michoacan

Twelve members of a self-defense group in Mexico's Michoacan state went missing after going out on patrol in November 2014. Their families now say that police were involved -- whatever the truth of the matter may be, the case is indicative of a wider problem in Mexico: lack of justice for the disappeared, including and especially for those who don't fit the profile of an ordinary civilian. 

Mexico's Senate has approved a new anti-corruption law

Mexico's Senate has finally approved a long debated anti-corruption law, but serious doubts remain over whether the reforms will make little more than a cosmetic difference to the country's graft-riddled institutions.

Honduras' Minister of Education has claimed that local street gangs are directing ongoing students protests -- a dangerous statement, given the nation's current security situation.