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Authorities in Bolivia have identified three trafficking routes used to transport drugs from Peru to Brazil by land and water, indicating traffickers are not wholly reliant on the aerial route currently the subject of a security forces crackdown.

Published in News Briefs
Friday, 02 May 2014 00:00

The Evolution of the Urabeños

Uraba, which means "promised land" in the indigenous tongue, was the cradle of the paramilitaries, and remains the country's principal BACRIM stronghold. This is where most of the Urabeños command nodes still meet, and it is the seat of the organization's "board of directors," or Estado Mayor. The region is crucial drug trafficking real estate, providing access to coca crops located in the Nudo de Paramillo, the mountains of Bolívar and the jungles of Choco. It sits astride one of the most important drug movement corridors from the center of the country to the departure points on both the Pacific and Atlantic seaboards. Finally, it has a culture of illegality that stretches from the formation of the Marxist rebels in the 1960s, if not before, which provides fertile ground for today's BACRIM to flourish.

Published in Investigations

The name BACRIM was created by the government of former President Alvaro Uribe in the aftermath of the demobilization of the AUC. Then-President Uribe was keen to draw a line in the sand, to avoid undermining the AUC peace process. For this reason, any drug trafficking organizations post-2006 were not to be considered paramilitary groups, but rather, "criminal bands," (for the Spanish "bandas criminales" – BACRIM). Yet all but one of the BACRIM had their roots in the AUC. The exception that proved the rule was the Rastrojos, which emerged from the military wing of a faction of the Norte del Valle Cartel.

Published in Investigations

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 agreement and of the country.

Published in News Analysis

Deep in the Amazon, where Colombia, Brazil and Peru meet, the once crime saturated Colombian city of Leticia enjoys relative tranquility, while Brazilian neighbor Tabatinga is rocked by drug trade violence.

Published in News Analysis

A recent report on cocaine "backpackers" in Peru reveals the workings of a low-tech trafficking technique that is on the increase again, as security forces destroy illegal air strips and seek to restrict the use of drug flights from coca-producing areas.

Published in News Briefs

The US Treasury has added an alleged Sinaloa Cartel member linked to drug lord Juan Jose "El Azul" Esparragoza Moreno to its Kingpin List, as the authorities increase the pressure on Mexico's leading criminal organization following the arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Published in News Briefs

The emergence of allegations made by an incarcerated drug baron that he funded the political activities of Colombia's former President Alvaro Uribe comes as a timely reminder of the country's vulnerability to drug money influence in the run-up to national elections.

Published in News Briefs
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 07:08

Mexico's Oil Reform May Help Organized Crime

Mexico's landmark oil reform is poised to bring a flood of new companies into the nation's energy industry, adding a new set of targets for organized crime.

Published in News Analysis

Officials in Guatemala have connected a massacre of nine people in the northern state of Peten to "score settling" among drug traffickers, in what appears another manifestation of the turmoil afflicting the region since the debilitation of the Zetas Mexican criminal group, and the capture and extradition of several powerful local traffickers.

Published in News Briefs
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InSight Crime Special Series

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.

See entire series »

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.

See entire series »

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.

See entire series »

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US Federal Agents Go After Texis Cartel Leader ‘Chepe Diablo’

US Federal Agents Go After Texis Cartel Leader ‘Chepe Diablo’

US investigators are looking into the bank transactions and the origin of the finances of "Chepe Diablo," who was placed on the country's kingpin list earlier this year. He has important shares in grain importation...

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Colombia's Tax Agency Boss Leaves Country Amid Death Threats

Colombia's Tax Agency Boss Leaves Country Amid Death Threats

The director of Colombia's tax and customs agency has resigned and left the country after stating he had received death threats from a shadowy businessman with alleged ties to Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel and a...

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'El Chapo' Works with Rival 'La Barbie' in Mexico Prison Hunger Strike

'El Chapo' Works with Rival 'La Barbie' in Mexico Prison Hunger Strike

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...

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