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GameChangers 2019: Illegal Mining, Latin America’s Go-To Criminal Economy

The criminal, economic and political dynamics behind illegal gold rushes this past year in Venezuela and Ecuador were very different. But both countries illustrate...
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Are El Salvador’s Gangs Behind Historic Murder Drop?

El Salvador has ended 2019 with its lowest murder rate in years. But though the government has taken credit for the drop, there are likely multiple factors at...
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GameChangers 2019: As Venezuela Sinks, Maduro’s Criminal Ties Keep Him Afloat

Venezuela remained mired in crisis throughout 2019, yet Nicolás Maduro actually consolidated his regime. How did he do...
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GameChangers 2019: Northern Triangle Countries to Fight Corruption Alone, if at All

The year 2019 saw the end of a brief golden era when local and international forces came together to fight state and private corruption in the Northern...
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Costa Rica Seizures Show Heightened Focus on Pacific Drug Route

Since 2020 began, major operations along Costa Rica’s western coast have brought in nearly 1,000 kilograms of cocaine showing the country’s increasing efforts...
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GameChangers 2019: Mexico’s Body Count Soars as AMLO Out of Ideas

It was always going to be a thankless task. When President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in December of 2018, Mexico was undergoing the most violent...
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Bojayá: Colombia’s First Violent Flashpoint of 2020

Just hours into the New Year, some 300 armed men raided a small town in the Bojayá municipality of Chocó, in northwest Colombia, where drug-related violence that...
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GameChangers 2019: Backwards to the Future

Welcome to InSight Crime's Criminal GameChangers 2019, where we highlight the most important trends in organized crime in the Americas over the course of the year....
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Guatemala’s New President Dogged by His Past and Security Challenges

Alejandro Giammattei assumes Guatemala's presidency facing various security challenges, including drug trafficking, impunity, institutional weakness and poor law...
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Leadership Role of Women Often Overlooked in Mexico’s Organized Crime Landscape

A woman from Mexico’s drug trade heartland has been convicted in the United States for leading a sophisticated international trafficking network, highlighting the...
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Brazil’s Evangelical Gangs Waging War on Afro-Brazilian Religions

The Cabocla Jurema Umbanda Temple outside Brasilia was preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary in January. But, on Christmas Day, it was burned to the ground...
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Los Pochos, Guatemala’s New Generation of Drug Runners for Sinaloa Cartel

The arrest of a mayor in Guatemala's northern department of San Marcos has unveiled a criminal structure known as "Los Pochos" which investigators see as heirs of...