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Thursday, 09 September 2010 16:13

17 Dead in Honduras Gang Massacre

Honduras is seeing the fallout from Tuesday’s grisly massacre inside a shoe factory, when three perpetrators used AK-47s to slaughter 17 people.

Published in News Analysis
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 14:54

El Salvador Implements New Gang Law

El Salvador's hard-line law against gang activity officially took effect on Sunday, although the Attorney General's Office told La Prensa Grafica the legislation is not yet being enforced due to technicalities.

Published in News Analysis
Sunday, 21 November 2010 20:56

How 'Mano Dura' is Strengthening Gangs

The United Nations and U.S. Southern Command estimate there are approximately 70,000 gang members, or so-called maras, most of them concentrated in the Northern Triangle: 36,000 in Honduras, 10,500 in El Salvador and 14,000 in Guatemala. Most of these are concentrated in two gangs: the Mara Salvatrucha-13 (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (18). The gangs have a grave impact on the security situation in the region. Maras extort, kidnap, and murder local rivals, neighbors and security personnel. Their grip on many communities has crippled them and forced governments to reassess their security strategies. Their rise has also corresponded to higher murder rates. The Northern Triangle currently ranks as the most dangerous place in the world, according to the United Nations.·

Published in Investigations
Friday, 03 December 2010 18:02

SSI: MS-13 Leadership: Networks of Influence

From the introduction of the article by John P. Sullivan and Samuel Logan, published in 'The Counter Terrorist,' a magazine produced by the organization Security Solutions International.

Published in News Briefs

Published by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, December 2010.

Published in News Briefs

Are the brutal mara gangs in Central America allying themselves with the Mexican drug cartels, and what might this mean for organized crime in the region? 

Published in Investigations

This month’s attack on the head of the Honduran prison system has raised the important question: Does the government have any control over its penitentiaries?

Published in News Analysis

El Salvador's infamous street gangs, including the Mara Salvatruchas (MS-13), are getting more deeply involved in drug trafficking and are poised to become major players in transnational crime, indicates a new media report. This marks a further step in the group's evolution from a loose-knit association of small-time street gangs to become a much more formidable and organized force.

Published in News Analysis

Much of the headlines in the region about organized crime are focused on the chase, capture, and sometimes death of infamous criminal leaders. But there are many more subtle battles in motion, which have a far greater impact on every day life in these countries than the fight between the mega-cartels and their rivals, or the government’s efforts to decapitate the most well-known drug traffickers.

Take, for example, the adventure it must be to ride a public bus in Guatemala. Since 2007, over 500 bus drivers have been killed in violent incidents in Guatemala making driving a bus in that Central American nation arguably the most dangerous profession on the planet. The violence is not limited to the drivers. In 2010, while 155 bus drivers were killed, another 54 bus assistants (so-called ‘brochas’), 71 passengers and 14 presumed criminals were also murdered.

Published in Investigations
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 14:51

El Salvador Cameraman Murdered on Bus

A television cameraman was shot to death on a bus as he rode to work in El Salvador, the Associated Press reported. Three suspected gang members boarded the bus and killed Alfredo Hurtado (in photo), a police report quoted by the AP said. The motives for the killing were not clear. Gangs have killed and threatened journalists in El Salvador in the past, most notably Christian Poveda, a French documentary maker who was killed in 2009 after showing his finished work about the gangs to their leaders.

Published in News Briefs
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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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Two wildly divergent views of what is happening with the truce between El Salvador's two foremost gangs converge in one important way: they both paint a bleak picture for the near future of the fragile...

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A vigilante leader in Mexico's Michoacan state has promised the groups will disarm by May 10, but details about what their agreement with the government entails are hazy, and it remains to be seen whether...

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Ecuador Car Theft Rings Fuel Billion Dollar Transnational Trade

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In 2013, Ecuador lost around $22 million and over 7,000 vehicles to car theft, a lucrative international trade that connects street level thieves to transnational organized crime groups.

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