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Authorities in Guatemala estimate criminals make around $61 million a year from extortion, a figure that illustrates the extent to which this crime impacts businesses and families.  

Published in News Briefs

Violence perpetrated by "mara" street gangs and drug trafficking groups in Central America undermines the state and leads to high homicide rates, forced recruitment and forced displacement -- an impact comparable to that of an armed conflict.

Published in News Analysis

Guatemala's Congress is analyzing an initiative to target the human smugglers known as "coyotes," as political pressure in the region builds to tackle the unprecedented numbers of child migrants trying to enter the US.

Published in News Briefs

Authorities in the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras and Guatemala have announced drops in their homicide rates of over 20 and 10 points, respectively. What has been responsible for these reported reductions in violence, and are they sustainable?

Published in News Briefs

The United States estimates that 60,000 children from Central America's Northern Triangle countries will enter the country without legal papers this year. US President Barack Obama has declared a crisis and has requested $3.7 billion to alleviate it. Why are more children leaving than before? Is Central America now more violent? Are there new laws in the United States that are attracting them? The answer is no. The real answers are given by a Salvadoran coyote, among others.

Published in News Analysis

The Guatemala government said that 99 percent of the country's private security guards are working illegally,as efforts to regulate the booming private security sector -- which has been accused of everything from extrajudicial killings to criminal ties -- falls flat.

Published in News Briefs

The governments of Mexico and Guatemala have announced a new border program to protect migrants crossing into Mexico from Central America, as both countries attempt to combat the exploitation and mistreatment of migrants by the region's criminal groups.

Published in News Briefs

Intelligence reports obtained by the media in Honduras show how a captured drug trafficker and cocaine thief from Guatemala operated with the complicity of Honduran officials, highlighting the importance of Honduras in Central American drug operations.

Published in News Briefs

The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC)'s most recent report on the global narcotics trade has placed a heavy emphasis on the illegal use of precursor chemicals in drug production, reflecting changing tendencies in regional drug production and trafficking and efforts to control the trade.

Published in News Briefs

Violence from organized crime groups is forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of people in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Stories of individuals having to flee their homes are rife, and recounted across society from the stylish cafes of the wealthy elite to the dusty pulperias (corner stores) in remote and humble neighborhoods. Few lives remain untouched by this epidemic of forced dislocation sweeping the region.

Published in News Analysis
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InSight Crime Special Series

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Displacement in Latin America

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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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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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The Northern Triangle Children Don't Leave Alone: They Are Taken

The Northern Triangle Children Don't Leave Alone: They Are Taken

The United States estimates that 60,000 children from Central America's Northern Triangle countries will enter the country without legal papers this year. US President Barack Obama has declared a crisis and has requested $3.7 billion...

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Ruling in Mexico Vigilantes Case Raises Demobilization Legal Issues

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A federal judge in Mexico has ruled in favor of three vigilantes accused of carrying illegal arms on the grounds they were defending themselves in the face of the state's failure to do so, throwing...

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Police Investigations Show Structure, International Expansion of Brazil's PCC

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Police in Brazil say two top leaders of the PCC criminal organization run financial operations out of Paraguay and the United States, information that sheds light on the inner workings and international expansion of what...

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