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Contraband

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Liquid Gold – False COVID-19 Vaccines Emerge in Latin America

In 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine is liquid gold. As governments begin to roll out inoculation programs, criminal groups are taking advantage of the anxious interim,...
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GameChangers 2020: How Black Markets Became the New Normal

In a region where 50 percent of the population already makes its living in the informal market, it was perhaps of little surprise that black markets exploded in...
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GameChangers 2020: Conflicting US Approach to Latin America Organized Crime

President-elect Joe Biden has a chance to reset the table on US-Latin American relations, but the Donald Trump administration’s schizophrenic, transactional...
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GameChangers 2020:  How Organized Crime Survived the Pandemic

Welcome to InSight Crime’s Criminal GameChangers 2020, where we highlight the most important trends in organized crime in the Americas over the course of...
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Proxy Gang Wars Fuel Record Homicides in Ecuador’s Prisons

An ongoing gang war in Ecuador’s prisons has made 2020 the bloodiest year on record for inmates, underscoring how the country’s penitentiary system cannot...
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Bolivia Dealing with Contraband Surge During Pandemic

Authorities in Bolivia this month have seized several large contraband shipments, as the country's economic struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic continue to...
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Drones Rain Contraband on Panama Prison

A burst of attempted contraband smuggling into Panama’s largest prison complex has challenged governments claims about the success of recent reforms in bolstering...
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Stolen Flu Vaccines Show Mexico’s Black Market Adapted to Coronavirus Demand

A flu vaccine in Mexico has become the latest drug to emerge on Latin America’s burgeoning black market medicine trade, highlighting how criminal groups are...
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Demand for Illegal Alcohol Claiming Hundreds of Lives Across Region

A sizeable seizure of adulterated rum shipped to Honduras from Europe reveals the extent to which black markets for alcohol in Latin America have expanded in...
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Textiles Contraband Surges in Colombia as Convenient Money Laundering Tactic

Fashion continues to fuel money laundering in Colombia, generating millions in losses for the country's textile...
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What Lies Behind Armed Robbery of Cancer Drugs in Mexico City?

A massive robbery of nearly 38,000 cancer drugs from a warehouse in Mexico City points to a growing sophistication in the country’s lucrative black market for...
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Coronavirus Yet to Halt Peru’s Contraband Cigarette Trade

Police in Peru have recently seized large quantities of contraband cigarettes in one of the capital’s most populous districts, in what is just the latest...