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Reports of armed men seeking a buried chest belonging to Pablo Escobar in Medellin, Colombia have sparked speculation of a criminal treasure hunt linked to the early release from prison of Escobar's former chief assassin "Popeye."

Published in News Briefs

Thirty-two public figures, including former and current politicians, have been arrested in Colombia's northwestern Uraba region for ties to paramilitaries, in a case highlighting the continued specter of political-criminal ties.

Published in News Briefs

A report says Colombia's Urabeños criminal group has subjected 3,000 people to siege-like conditions in a town in the northeastern province of Bolivar, an unusual tactic that highlights the degree of social control the group can exert in areas of strategic importance.

Published in News Analysis

The former head of the Medellin Cartel's hitman network has been released from prison, raising questions as to whether a man who is one of the most feared and blood-stained figures in the history of organized crime in Colombia can or should be reintegrated into society.

Published in News Briefs

An investigative report by Semana magazine illustrates how contraband medication networks operate in Colombia and Venezuela by taking advantage of differences between healthcare systems, government regulations and pharmaceutical prices in both countries. 

Published in News Briefs

Colombia's oil industry has lost more than $500 million in profits this year from attacks perpetrated by the FARC and ELN, which may be partly designed to put pressure on the government as peace negotiations continue.

Published in News Briefs

A former paramilitary known as "Pijarbey" is rebuilding the drug empire of fragmented trafficking group the ERPAC in Colombia's Eastern Plains, and is now positioning himself to become a major actor in Colombia's underworld -- if he can evade capture.

Published in News Analysis
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 10:49

Pijarbey

Martin Farfan Diaz Gonzalez, alias "Pijarbey" is a powerful criminal operative in Colombia's Eastern Plains region. He is the leader of the Libertadores del Vichada, a splinter group of the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC) that is dedicated to drug cultivation, processing, and trafficking, as well as hired assassinations. Pijarbey is one of Colombia's most wanted drug traffickers, and authorities have offered over $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Published in Personalities Colombia
Monday, 18 August 2014 18:38

Libertadores del Vichada

The Libertadores del Vichada are a splinter group of the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC) based in Colombia's Eastern Plains region. The criminal organization oversees coca cultivation, cocaine processing laboratories, and drug trafficking routes as well as a network of assassins. Aided by an alliance with powerful criminal syndicate the Urabeños, the group has amassed a substantial drug empire.

Published in Groups Colombia

A journalist in north Colombia has been murdered after accusing the local mayor's staff of plotting to kill him, in a reminder of ongoing ties between politics and organized crime, and the danger faced by those who try to expose them.

Published in News Briefs
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The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

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Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

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El Salvador's Gang Truce

El Salvador's Gang Truce

The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

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Juarez After The War

Juarez After The War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality.

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The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

The Zetas and the Battle for Monterrey

InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

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Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

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FARC, Peace and Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

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Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

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Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

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Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

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Guatemala, Honduras Presidents Blame US, Ignore Own Problems

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Presidents in Central America have blamed US drug policy for fueling the ongoing child migrant crisis, but the violence, unemployment and underdevelopment fueling this flight has more to do with the way the elites run...

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Police, Gangs Behind Abuse of Honduras' LGBTI Community

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The principal victimizers of Honduras' LGBTI community are police and criminal gangs, according to a new report by local rights groups, highlighting how discrimination against minorities relates to the security dynamic.

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Nicaragua Cattle Smuggled to Honduras

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Cattle-running groups have reportedly illegally transported 22,000 heads of cattle from eastern Nicaragua to Honduras in three months, highlighting the size of a trade that allegedly relies on corrupt officials and large landowners. 

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