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El Salvador Flirts with ‘Mano Dura’ Security Policies Again

The new administration of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has already shown that it will adopt hardline measures to combat the MS13 and Barrio 18 street gangs --...
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Street Gangs

The notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang (Barrio 18) are behind the majority of extortion rackets in the Northern Triangle. The development of...
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Independent Criminal Groups

The variety of extortionists in Central America speaks to the ease with which opportunists can set up their own schemes. Independent actors have taken advantage of...
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Copycats

Through the use of violence, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang (Barrio 18)  have become the most feared criminal brands in the Northern Triangle....
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Guatemala’s Small Businesses: A Pot of Gold

In parts of Guatemala City, opening a small business or setting up an informal stall can carry a death sentence. Every week, shopkeepers and business owners pay...
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Municipalities Fight Back in Guatemala’s Gang-Preyed Upon Neighborhoods

On the outskirts of Guatemala City lie impoverished neighborhoods, home to millions who commute to work in the capital city. These so-called “dorm cities,”...
guatemala city gang presence
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Gang Presence in Guatemala City

Extortion in Guatemala City is rife, and it is mainly carried out by street gangs and copycat groups. Shops, large businesses, and the public transport sector have...
san salvador gang presence
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Gang Presence in San Salvador

In terms of total monetary loss due to extortion, El Salvador tops all Northern Triangle countries. The country pays out an estimated $400 million a year in...
san pedro sula gang presence
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Gang Presence in San Pedro Sula

San Pedro Sula is Honduras’s second most populous urban center, and also deals with many of the same problems as the capital, Tegucigalpa, when it comes to street...