The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
The presidents of Guatemala and Honduras have used the Central American child migrant crisis to call for regional security investment from the United States along the lines of "Plan Colombia," but as yet there have been few signs of US interest in such a plan.
Authorities in Guatemala have highlighted the range of tactics used by criminals to extort money from businesses, a crime that has become so devastating that locals in one city have organized to put a stop to it.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.