The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
Police and inmate representatives make tens of thousands of dollars a day from extortion in Bolivia's prisons, according to the country's former head of the penal system, a situation that will likely persist as long as there is official corruption.
A recent report from a Mexican NGO tackles the crisis in the nation's penitentiary system, unearthing a number of critical factors and providing a handful of potential solutions.
Authorities are investigating complaints by family members of prisoners in Chihuahua, Mexico that they have been forced to pay extortion fees in order to get visitation rights, highlighting the rampant corruption in the country's prisons.
Female drug convicts in Latin America are being failed by inadequate justice systems, according to a report from a leading drug policy NGO, which calls for international and local strategies to address both prison conditions and the root causes of women's participation in the drug trade.
A new NGO report gives a breakdown of the causes of overcrowding in Mexico's prisons, offering insight into why the Mexican penal system has become a "time bomb" primed to explode in violence.
A prominent NGO in Venezuela has strongly criticized the prison ministry's failure to address chaos in the penitentiary system after yet another violent confrontation left scores of prisoners dead.
A savage prison battle has left 16 dead in Venezuela, highlighting the horrendous conditions and lack of government control in the country's penal system.
Uruguay is considering deporting foreign criminals back to their homeland, a move which could unclog the prison system and help prevent organized crime from taking hold in the country, or it could backfire and cause havoc both inside and outside jails.
Following a prison riot in Bolivia that killed more than 30 people and revelations about the jails' mini-service economies and extortion rackets, President Evo Morales said the country's penitentiaries have "no state presence" and vowed to reform the system.
A prison riot which left more than 30 dead in Bolivia has highlighted the dire overcrowding, underfunding and lack of control over inmates which make Latin American jails among the most dangerous in the world.