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Contraband

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Despite Vast Oil Reserves, Venezuela Smuggling Gasoline From Colombia, Brazil

Despite having the world's largest oil reserves, years of mismanagement and theft have led Venezuela to a bizarre turn of events. Gasoline is so scarce in the...
Argentina is home to a large contraband cigarette market
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Argentina Smugglers Turn to Cigarettes in Coronavirus Lockdown

Amid a shortage of cigarettes in Argentina after factory closings due to the coronavirus pandemic, the black market cigarette trade has surged -- an illegal economy...
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Six Ways Coronavirus is Impacting Organized Crime in the Americas

Criminal groups across Latin America have been forced to dig deep by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Moving drugs and contraband, shaking down...
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Coronavirus Driving Black Market for Medical Equipment in Cuba

The theft of thousands of surgical masks in Cuba reveals how the island’s active black market has adapted quickly to the coronavirus...
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Coronavirus Stokes Colombia’s Black Market Medicine Trade

The seizures of several illegal shipments of medicine in Colombia's northern department of La Guajira has shown that one of the country's least-discussed criminal...
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Coronavirus Squeezing Finances of Mexico’s Criminal Groups

Contacts in China provide Mexican criminal groups with everything from counterfeit luxury goods to chemical precursors for making fentanyl. But with the spread of...
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Contraband Cheese From Venezuela on Colombia’s Criminal Menu

Cheese has increasingly joined oil and other commodities smuggled along the border between Colombia and Venezuela, and criminal groups are milking the...
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Black Market for Mayan Artifacts Still Thrives in Guatemala

Guatemalan authorities carried out raids at a shop selling illegally sourced artifacts, renewing focus on the country’s struggles to stamp out the remains of a...
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Chile’s Copper Robbing Epidemic Likely Fueled by China Demand

The seizure of tons of stolen copper near Santiago, Chile, set to be sent illegally to China, has revealed that increasingly daring robberies may be fueled by the...
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Brazil Fighting Pesticide Smuggling War on Two Fronts

A growing market for stolen or smuggled pesticides has left Brazil in a bind, as it fights increasingly large robberies at home while also cracking down on smuggled...
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Jade: New Crown Jewel for Crime Groups in Guatemala

Authorities have uncovered that an eastern coastal region of Guatemala, known to be a cocaine corridor, has been used in the trafficking of jade -- a gemstone used...
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Guyana’s Mining Region is Open Door to Venezuelan Organized Crime

A recent Crisis Group report explores criminal dynamics in the Guyanese mining region bordering Venezuela, revealing how the chaos and violence of Venezuela’s...