The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
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.
Conservationists in Costa Rica have reacted strongly to a court ruling that absolves a woman accused of shark "finning" and orders the compensation of a boat captain connected to the case, saying the judgment effectively serves to legitimize the illicit trade.
Authorities in Mexico have seized a record 10,000 ton haul of illegal timber worth more than $1 million, another indication of the wide range of illicit activities undertaken by criminal organizations to increase revenue streams.
Heavily armed pirates have been hijacking shrimp catches along Mexico's Pacific Coast, perhaps the work of cartel gunmen with time on their hands, or a sign of an interruption in cocaine shipments.
A documentary by indigenous communities in Panama has cast light on the catastrophic effect of illegal logging and ranching on the country's rainforest, in another example of the impact of criminal activity on rural communities and the environment.
More than 2,000 working-class families in an Ecuador slum were tricked into buying small plots of land that were never for sale, in an example of a regional crime that strongly affects rural areas but can also have a major impact in cities.
More than two dozen armed men raided a ranch in Paraguay, held its employees hostage, and took off with 350 head of cattle, in an unusually bold example of an often overlooked but widespread crime in Latin America.
Authorities in Nicaragua seized over 1,400 cubic meters of timber harvested illegally from a northern forest reserve in 2013 -- likely just a fraction of what was extracted by illegal wood mafias supplying markets in Asia.
Drug trafficking is responsible for the massive destruction of rainforests across Central America, according to a new study, destroying huge swathes of land for airstrips, roads, and cattle ranches that are used to launder money.
Ten trafficked animals are recovered each day at Colombia's busiest airport, marking the extent of this thriving illegal trade, which experts say is being left unchallenged by public indifference.