Nicaragua News

Cargo Robberies in Northern Triangle Hamper Regional Commerce

Cargo Robberies in Northern Triangle Hamper Regional Commerce

Criminal groups are stealing commercial shipments transiting Central America's Northern Triangle, illustrating how insecurity in the region is negatively impacting regional trade.

Nicaragua Profile

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Nicaragua has been spared much of the violence that has shaken its neighbors, and while the country does appear to host at least one transnational criminal organization, so far it has not seen the kind of gang wars affecting the Northern Triangle countries: Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. While Nicaragua sees plenty of drug trafficking over its borders, local traffickers are nowhere close to presenting a regional threat. Most trafficking networks are based along the coastlines, especially the Atlantic side, although the Pacific and inland routes are also used to move cocaine shipments northwards.

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  • Cargo Robberies in Northern Triangle Hamper Regional Commerce

    Authorities investigate the scene of a cargo robbery

    Criminal groups are stealing commercial shipments transiting Central America's Northern Triangle, illustrating how insecurity in the region is negatively impacting regional trade.

  • Will Ortega's Grip on Nicaragua Politics Open Door to More Corruption?

    Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega after casting his vote

    Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega has been re-elected to a fourth term in office in a landslide victory. But as his inner circle tightens its hold on power, the legitimacy of state institutions could be compromised.

  • Why Is Nicaragua 7 Times Less Violent Than Honduras?

    Police officers in Nicaragua

    A newspaper in violence-plagued Honduras investigated why Nicaragua enjoyed a much lower homicide rate and credited its neighbor's relatively professional and efficient police force for keeping the peace. But the answer isn't that simple.

  • Nicaragua Releases 8,000 Inmates from Overcrowded Prisons

    Nicaragua's prisons are severely overcrowded

    Nicaragua has reportedly released the equivalent of 80 percent of its prison population over the last two years in a controversial measure to ease overcrowding that suffers from a lack of transparency.

  • Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Elites

    This InSight Crime project defines elites as: specific groups of people with a privileged position that allows them to control, direct or greatly influence the dynamics of community life in political, social, cultural and/or economic terms.

  • Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

    This project defines organized crime as: a structured group of people that associate on a regular and prolonged basis to benefit from illicit activities and illegal markets. This group can be local, national or transnational in nature, and its existence is maintained using violence and threats; corruption of public officials; and its influence on society, politics and the economy.

  • Elites and Organized Crime: Methodology

    This study focuses on four countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia. Each presents different challenges and opportunities for research, and makes its own contribution to our snapshot of elite groups and organized crime in the region.

  • Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

    Organized crime and the violence associated with it is the preeminent problem in Latin America and the Caribbean today. The region is currently home to six of the most violent countries in the world that are not at war. Four of those countries are in Central America, where we centered our research. Public opinion polls also consistently show that crime and insecurity are at the top of the region’s concerns. Governments and multilaterals have channeled vast resources towards dealing with this issue, and international aid and humanitarian organizations have shifted their mandates to better confront its effects.

  • Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

    Organized crime is not an abstract concept for me. I grew up in Oak Park, a leafy suburb of Chicago with a population of about 60,000. In general, it was a very low crime city, which is perhaps why many mobsters made their homes there, among them Sam “Mooney” Giancana.

  • Head of Nicaragua Drug Trafficking Ring Sentenced in Costa Rica

    Head of the Tarzanes, Agustin Reyes Aragon

    A court in Costa Rica has sentenced the head of Nicaragua drug trafficking group the Tarzanes, a reflection of the criminal organization's operational presence in this neighboring Central American country. 

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 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...

'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...

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...

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 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...