The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
Homicides in Colombia have fallen more than nine percent in the last year continuing a national long term trend, but fluctuations in the murder rates in certain regions highlight the continuing violent impact of organized crime turf wars.
After a two decade long hiatus, gang truces are back in vogue in the Americas. Very generally, truces usually include negotiations and pacts intended to bring about an end to violence. They are typically brokered by an eclectic cast of characters -- from government officials and aid workers to faith-based groups and active and ex-gang members. And while truces are generating considerable attention in the global media, the evidence base about what they really accomplish is surprisingly thin.
Authorities in Spain have charged 167 people from 15 countries for their alleged roles in a drug trafficking network, offering insight into the high levels of sophistication and transnational reach of criminal groups moving drugs from South America to Europe.
Twenty years ago, on December 2, 1993, Pablo Escobar, the pioneer of Colombia's cocaine trade, was killed on a rooftop in his native Medellin by police. His death signaled the end of one era of drug trafficking and the birth of another, as the drug trade continued apace, with Medellin still at its heart.
The US government estimates that heroin production has sharply declined in Colombia over the past decade, yet the United Nations claims the country remains the primary supplier of the drug for the US market. So which is it?
Peace talks between the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government have turned to the issue of drug trafficking, representing a historic opportunity to tackle the illegal narcotics trade, although one fraught with obstacles to both striking and implementing an agreement.
The trial has begun for 45 members of a drug money laundering network operating in Spain alleged to have provided funding for Colombia's FARC guerrillas, raising questions over the extent of the group's European links.
Experts have revealed the extent of illegal wildlife trafficking in Colombia, highlighting an underreported but lucrative income source for criminal organizations, only exceeded by drugs, arms and human trafficking.
Nicaragua has authorized the militaries of the United States and Russia to undertake drug interdiction in Caribbean waters successfully claimed from Colombia in the International Court of Justice last year, in a move likely spurred by political motivations.
Authorities in Colombia have seized 34,000 gallons of contraband fuel and arrested 30 suspects, in a series of operations highlighting the extent of a lucrative illicit trade fed largely by illegal Venezuelan imports.