The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
Rio de Janeiro's tourist hotspot of Copacabana has been hit by rioting and gunfights after residents of a nearby favela accused pacification police of beating a man to death, raising further questions about Brazil's security crackdown ahead of the World Cup.
A recent report has highlighted the increasing role of the East African nation Mozambique in the international drug trade, adding weight to warnings that the influence of Latin American criminals in Africa is no longer limited to a handful of west coast countries.
Drones are gaining popularity in Latin American surveillance due to their technological advantages, but their use currently lacks a legal framework. While people commonly associate drones with extrajudicial killings, in this region unregulated use raises a different set of issues regarding human rights and sovereignty.
A newly released index ranking the countries where journalists' murders are most likely to go unpunished names three Latin American countries in the list of worst offenders, as regional moves to counter the problem have yet to yield results.
A new report by the international watchdog group Global Witness says two-thirds of documented killings of environmentalists over the last decade occurred in Latin America and nearly half in Brazil, as environmental campaigns clash with both legal and criminal business interests, especially in the timber trade.
Authorities in Brazil have arrested two alleged top weapons and drug providers for Rio de Janeiro's notorious Red Command, potentially disrupting transnational supply lines for the powerful group as it faces security force pressure in one of its strongholds.
Deep in the Amazon, where Colombia, Brazil and Peru meet, the once crime saturated Colombian city of Leticia enjoys relative tranquility, while Brazilian neighbor Tabatinga is rocked by drug trade violence.
Authorities in Brazil have attributed nearly four tons of internationally destined cocaine seized in a major port to the PCC criminal group, in a further sign of the organization's expansion and growing influence.
Reports that an imprisoned Rio de Janeiro kingpin maintained drug trafficking operations in the city's largest pacified slum with the help of corrupt police offer further evidence of trouble brewing for the city's landmark "pacification" program.
In recent months, the São Paulo state government has been attempting an almost Herculean task: limiting the power of Brazil's largest prison gang, the First Capital Command (PCC). But success in the long run will require deep structural reforms in the judicial and penal systems.