Police record another clandestine grave in Guerrero

With more than 150 bodies reportedly found in clandestine graves and 240 people missing thus far this year in Guerrero, Mexico, it is clear the southwest Pacific state has turned into a hotbed for criminal activity, thanks to a potent mix of criminal gangs and official corruption.

These figures, reported by Guerrero's forensic office, include 43 student protesters who went missing in the town of Iguala this September, in an ongoing case that has steadily gained international attention. On October 23, nine new clandestine graves were found in the outskirts of Iguala; these included human remains as well as pens and backpacks, indicating it could be a burial site of some of the missing students, reported El Universal.

The case led to the resignation of Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre Rivero last week. His replacement, interim governor Rogelio Ortega Martinez, recently announced he planned to create a commission to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for the student disappearances, reported El Universal.

Meanwhile, Mexican NGO the Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice has claimed that Martinez has ties to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dating back to 2002. The NGO said that according to e-mails recovered from a FARC leader's laptop, Martinez once asked FARC representatives in Mexico to lend him money. They also claimed he was linked to a group involved in kidnapping.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the Mexican government has invested significant resources and attention into combating organized crime in neighboring Michoacan, Guerrero has quietly turned into a hub for criminal activity. Last year, Guerrero recorded Mexico's highest murder rate. Meanwhile, the disintegration of Guerrero criminal group Los Rojos -- whose progenitor is the larger Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) -- reportedly led to a wave of violence earlier this year, as rival gangs battled for territorial control.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Official corruption has also played a key role in the escalating chaos in Guerrero. Another splinter cell of the BLO, the Guerreros Unidos, is thought to be behind the recent student disappearances, and allegedly worked on behalf of Iguala's mayor and his wife, who are currently both on the run. Meanwhile, 36 municipal police officers had been arrested in connection to the case as of October 18.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Prev Next

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy.

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

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power.

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...

Venezuela Prisons: 'Pranes' and 'Revolutionary' Criminality

Venezuela Prisons: 'Pranes' and 'Revolutionary' Criminality

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.

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...

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...

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...