The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) like Mexico's La Familia, is entering the cattle rustling business, according to a lengthy article in El Universal. The organizations are using their superior firepower to steal the cattle, at times on the roads in broad daylight, victims tell the newspaper. The cattle is sold in the black market or to slaughter houses that are not vigilant of the paperwork. Two of every three robberies is not reported, the story adds. The robberies have gone up between 30 percent and 50 percent in the states of Mexico, Chiapas, Coahuila, Jalisco, Michoacán, Querétaro, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas.
Emerging Criminal Groups or BACRIM's are overrunning mercury mines in Córdoba and Antioquia, President Juan Manuel Santos announced. The mines are contaminated the environment, he added, stating that some children are deformed because of the mercury entering the water supply. The government said that the guerrilla groups, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC) and the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional - ELN), are also involved in the trade. The government's announcement coincided with raids on the area, and 35 people were arrested.
In a two-month operation with Interpol, Colombian police rescued 10,000 animals as part of an offensive against eco traffickers in the region.
Chef Gordon Ramsay, the backbiting Brit who spends most his days on his television show "Hell's Kitchen" ripping apart poorly trained sous-chefs, showed a more compassionate side recently, as he sought and gained access to a fishing vessel in Central America that was using longlines to capture sharks and lop off their fins.
- International crime is a $650 billion dollar industry, according to a report by Global Financial Integrity, a program of the Washington-based think tank, the Center for International Policy. The analysis “evaluates the overall size of criminal markets in twelve categories: drugs, humans, wildlife, counterfeit goods and currencies; human organs, small arms, diamonds and other gems; oil, timber, fish, art and cultural property; and gold.” The drug trafficking market makes up for almost half of the figure or around $320 billion dollars; and some $250 billion dollars are a contribution of the counterfeiting business, which includes goods and currencies.
Global Financial Integrity, a branch of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for International Policy, released a new report today entitled "Transnational Crime in the Developing World." Its authors detail the devastating environmental, political and economic effects of transnational crime, shedding light on the manner in which criminal activities flourish in the weak states of the developing world. According to the report, transnational crime brings in $650 billion annually, and can be divided into twelve main markets.
Belize's ambassador to Guatemala has said that the Belize military may begin patrolling the Guatemalan side of the border in order to better combat a "spillover" of drug-related crime. Belize borders the Guatemalan state Peten, whose governor has called for an emergency crackdown against drug traffickers, similarly to the "state of siege" declared last year in Alta Verapaz.
- Mexico police announced the results of a three-day raid intended to crack down on wildlife trafficking, reports Reuters. In a nation-wide sweep, police recovered 4,725 wild plants or animals, including rare orchids, parrots, pumas and dozens of other threatened bird and mammal species. Eco-trafficking is one of the most lucrative criminal activities in Latin America: estimates by Interpol say the global trade generates up to $20 billion in profits a year.
Following a string of murders in a logging village in Brazil's Amazon, the government is working to increase state presence in lawless regions of the country where conflicts over natural resources have caused extreme levels of violence.
A peasant activist was murdered in Para state, in Brazil's Amazon, in the latest of a spate of apparent hired killings which some have linked to land conflicts.