The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
A top Nicaragua security official says a strategy known as the "wall of containment" has kept drug traffickers out, who instead flock to neighboring Honduras, a claim that seems questionable given the high levels of violence and reports of organized crime activity along the country's Atlantic coast.
Police in Nicaragua have arrested a man accused of running several of the drug theft gangs known as "tumbadores," which are one of the principal components of organized crime in the country and across Central 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.
Nicaragua's army has captured the alleged leader of a ring of land traffickers – a common crime in the country with links to timber mafias, cattle ranchers and corrupt officials.
Drug trafficking groups from Honduras are reportedly fueling violence in Nicaragua's Atlantic region through their involvement in the hijacking of drug shipments, in another sign Honduran organizations are emerging as a transnational threat.
Nicaragua has authorized the militaries of the United States and Russia to undertake drug interdiction in Caribbean waters successfully claimed from Colombia in the International Court of Justice last year, in a move likely spurred by political motivations.
A bishop in Nicaragua has claimed newly emergent armed groups in the semi-autonomous north of the country are drug traffickers and kidnappers without political ends, as the church continues to weigh in on the politically sensitive debate over such organizations.
Authorities in Nicaragua have continued to defend their occupation of assets seized in drug trafficking investigations, illustrating the extent to which state institutions rely on trafficking-related seizures as a source of leverage and funding.
Nicaraguan authorities are continuing to refute the political motives of armed actors in the country's northern highlands, despite the recent assassination of two government activists. Yet the methods employed to confront them suggest they are more than just common criminals.
As Nicaragua prepares to extradite 18 Mexican citizens convicted of drug trafficking while posing as journalists, questions linger regarding the group’s operation and its ties to broadcast giant Televisa.