The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
Close to 70 prisoners are being held in a park in Bogota, underscoring both the unsustainable levels of overcrowding in Colombia's detention centers and the government's failure to provide adequate solutions.
The former army captain convicted of killing Bishop Juan Gerardi ran a massive bribery ring from prison, according to an investigation by Guatemala's anti-impunity commission.
September 2 was the 10th anniversary of the decision of El Salvador's government to assign exclusive jails to the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs. The measure is now considered by academics and researchers as one that facilitated the evolution of the gangs, but very few opposed it while it was happening. Now, the question is whether reversing the segregation is viable or not.
A deadly riot in southern Brazil illustrates how inhumane prison conditions and powerful prison gangs create an explosive situation, which authorities are sometimes tempted to resolve by negotiating with gangs like the First Capital Command (PCC).
A recent report indicates that Guatemala's prisons are at 280 percent over capacity, a problem exacerbated by poor management, which is feeding growing criminality within the penitentiary system, and effectively handing inmates control over many installations.
Police in Colombia have dismantled a prison-based extortion gang that operated in numerous prisons and cities across the country, demonstrating just how coordinated and sophisticated such networks have become.
El Salvador's security minister has said that the government intends to end the practice of separating prisoners based on their gang affiliation, in comments that acknowledge the failings of the policy but not the reality of the country's gang-controlled penitentiaries.
Captured Sinaloa Cartel leader "El Chapo" Guzman has reportedly banded together with rival "La Barbie" to organize a hunger strike from his isolation cell, suggesting the kingpin does not enjoy the run of the prison granted him by corrupt authorities during his last stint behind bars.
Colombia has released close to 11,000 prisoners over the last four months, a measure aimed at reducing massive overcrowding in the country's prisons, but one that will likely serve as only a temporary fix.
Four months after being sworn in as president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez has carried out some security-oriented initiatives to battle his country's rising murder rate. Apart from creating the Military Police of Public Order (PMOP), Hernandez's security forces succeeded in capturing a drug kingpin in March, and also have successfully managed to pressure cell phone companies into creating a perimeter around prisons that cuts off satellite reception. Since the implementation of these policies, about one thousand new soldiers have been integrated into the PMOP, the captured drug lord, Carlos Arnoldo Lobo, has been extradited to the US, and extortions have gone down 75 percent.