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An increase in demand for opiates in the United States and dwindling revenue in the marijuana trade has seen Mexican cartels become increasingly involved in poppy cultivation and heroin production, a trend that is seemingly supported by US interdiction statistics.

Published in News Briefs

The US DEA's top official has claimed criminal organizations from Mexico are "setting up shop" in the states of Washington and Colorado following marijuana legalization, a politically charged statement that fails to give a full picture of the situation.

Published in News Briefs

In an interview with a prominent Mexican newspaper, former Mexico President Vicente Fox proposes a number of potentially controversial approaches to solving Mexico's organized crime problem, explaining why the legalization of marijuana and allowing former criminals to become legitimate "businessmen" is the best way forward.

Published in News Briefs

Uruguay's president says marijuana plants with a traceable genetic code will be grown on military land, a step intended to help prevent criminal exploitation of legal crops and alleviate pressure from opponents of the country's legalization move.

Published in News Briefs

Peru plans to dedicate $300 million to anti-drug efforts in 2014, showing the country's commitment to diminishing its role in the cocaine trade, though the sum is small when compared with the amount of money that has been poured into similar efforts in neighboring Colombia over past years.

Published in News Briefs

The United Nations has attacked moves towards liberalizing drug laws in its annual narcotics control report, arguing such measures would have grave social and economic costs without significantly undermining organized crime.

Published in News Briefs

Argentina has approved the creation of a special unit to facilitate the fight against drug trafficking as the government looks to tackle the rapid evolution and growing sophistication of the country's drug trade.

Published in News Briefs

Jamaica plans to decriminalize marijuana before the end of the year, bringing it in line with many of its Latin American neighbors, but raising the question of what effect this might have on its significant illegal export market.

Published in News Briefs

Lawmakers in Mexico City have submitted proposed legislation that would decriminalize marijuana use in the capital, an initiative that has drawn praise from regional leaders but also raises questions about the effects of such a move.

Published in News Briefs

Honduras' new government has lauded increased arrests and drug seizures under the new president's hardline security policy, although reports that the country's prisons generate $180 million in illegal annual earnings serve as a reminder of the negative effects filling prisons can have.

Published in News Briefs
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InSight Crime Special Series

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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Mexico Heroin Flooding US as Marijuana Profits Drop

Mexico Heroin Flooding US as Marijuana Profits Drop

An increase in demand for opiates in the United States and dwindling revenue in the marijuana trade has seen Mexican cartels become increasingly involved in poppy cultivation and heroin production, a trend that is seemingly...

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Making Good Criminals: How to Effectively Respond to the Crime-Terrorism Nexus

Making Good Criminals: How to Effectively Respond to the Crime-Terrorism Nexus

The following piece comes from Dr Vanda Felbab-Brown's Potomac Institute for Policy Studies seminar entitled, "Convergence of Crime and Terrorism?" given on November 21, 2013. The seminar centered on the concept that criminal activity and international...

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Colombia Moves to Plug Gaps Exploited by Contraband Smugglers

Colombia Moves to Plug Gaps Exploited by Contraband Smugglers

The government in Colombia is to strengthen customs controls on its borders in an attempt to tackle widespread contraband smuggling after identifying at least 88 routes through which contraband is moves into the country.

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