News Analysis

Diana Urbina Soto, Juan Orlando Hernández, and Arnaldo Urbina Soto at campaign event.

In our October 19 Facebook Live session, Co-director Steven Dudley and Senior Investigator Deborah Bonello spoke about InSight Crime's new investigation into the Urbina Soto family in Honduras, and their criminal legacy.

The investigation details how members of this powerful clan came to dominate the department of Yoro, and run criminal enterprises ranging from illegal logging to moving drug shipments north. Their political tentacles reached to the highest levels of government, and they also held a tight rein on local police and judicial matters in the area.

Watch the full conversation below:

A former Barrio 18 gang member

Around 85 percent of gang members in El Salvador have thought about distancing themselves from gang life or leaving entirely. But with few reported success stories, little is known about this process. In March 2017, a study by Florida International University (FIU) examined the dynamics behind the dangerous choice to abandon gang life and the challenges faced by ex-members seeking to reintegrate into society.

Former FARC fighters are deserting the peace process and returning to crime

The Colombian government has released estimates indicating that only a small percentage of former FARC guerrillas have abandoned the peace process. But InSight Crime field research indicates that the actual number of dissidents is much higher, and could be growing due to issues related to the implementation of a November 2016 peace agreement with the rebel group.

Homeless residents of Bogotá's "Bronx" neighborhood following a vast security operation

It was just before rush hour on August 23 when the Bogotá district police and SWAT squad came for the gangs of the Cartuchito, an area with a potent illicit drug trade and open consumption of bazuco, a cocaine derivative similar to crack. Clad in anti-riot gear and armed with batons and tear gas, police were sent in to "reclaim" the area "for the citizens," the city's Department of Security later tweeted. But that was the spin.

Investigations

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Counting Firearms in Honduras

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Estimates vary widely as to how many legal and illegal weapons are circulating in Honduras. There are many reasons for this. The government does not have a centralized database that tracks arms seizures, purchases, sales and other matters concerning arms possession, availability and merchandising. The laws surrounding...

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras' arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

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Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Honduras does not produce weapons,[1] but weapons are trafficked into the country in numerous ways. These vary depending on weapon availability in neighboring countries, demand in Honduras, government controls and other factors. They do not appear to obey a single strategic logic, other than that of evading...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

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Venezuela Prisons: 'Pranes' and 'Revolutionary' Criminality

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In May 2011, a 26-year-old prison gang leader held 4,000 members of the Venezuelan security forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, at bay for weeks. Humiliated nationally and internationally, it pushed President Hugo Chávez into a different and disastrous approach to the prison system.

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

The weapons trade within Honduras is difficult to monitor. This is largely because the military, the country's sole importer, and the Armory, the sole salesmen of weapons, do not release information to the public. The lack of transparency extends to private security companies, which do not have...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network.

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...