The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
A US operation targeting human smugglers does not address the underlying factors driving a wave of Central American child migrants across the US border, and could increase the risks facing these migrants.
More than 2,000 US officials have been investigated this year for ties to organized crime, particularly on the Mexican and Canadian borders, reports El Universal -- a figure which points to widespread corruption.
Rival politicians, and some press accounts, blame what they call the Obama administration’s lenient policy towards immigrant youth for luring thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America to the US. After hundreds of interviews with minors in El Salvador, researcher Elizabeth Kennedy* says the reason youth flee is simple: gang violence.
Authorities have barred hundreds of migrants in Mexico from boarding the infamous cargo train "La Bestia" (the Beast) destined for the United States, though the measure is unlikely to stop them attempting the perilous journey and may leave them even more exposed to attacks by criminals.
US gangs and Mexico's organized crime groups are forging ever closer ties, according to US authorities, as the fragmenting cartels turn to the transnational criminal outsourcing model to protect their interests north of the border.
Heroin consumption has risen dramatically in Mexico, mirroring trends in US demand for a drug that is increasingly locally produced and whose production and movement is often overseen by Mexican cartels.
The US DEA's top official has claimed criminal organizations from Mexico are "setting up shop" in the states of Washington and Colorado following marijuana legalization, a politically charged statement that fails to give a full picture of the situation.
US authorities have discovered a home in Texas where human smugglers were keeping over 100 undocumented migrants against their will, providing a high-profile example of how organized crime manifests itself north of the border.
Members of the Texas-born Barrio Azteca gang are receiving training from Mexico's Zetas, according to the testimony of a former gang member, a sign the group is evolving and deepening its role in organized crime beyond the border region.
The United States has grounded a fleet of drones used to monitor the border with Mexico following the crash of an unmanned aircraft, an event that distracts from larger issues surrounding the use of drones to monitor and combat transnational crime.