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Coronavirus and Organized Crime


Eruption of Gang Violence Belies Bukele’s Security Wins in El Salvador

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele has lashed out after several days of bloodshed amid a coronavirus lockdown, blaming the spike in killings on gangs. But in...

Human Smugglers Could Benefit From Costa Rica-Nicaragua Silence

Costa Rica has enhanced border security during the coronavirus pandemic to crack down on human smuggling from Nicaragua, but its measures are undermined by a lack...

Mexico Cartels Hand Out Food Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Recent cases of criminal groups distributing supplies in Mexico suggest that the coronavirus pandemic has presented an opportunity to cultivate popular support and...

Theft of Critical Medical Equipment Surges in Latin America

Thefts of tests, ventilators and personal protective equipment have shot up across Latin America amid the coronavirus pandemic, threatening lives and taxing...

Ucayali, Peru’s Drug Trafficking Gateway to Bolivia and Brazil

The coronavirus pandemic has halted trafficking in Peru and sent cocaine prices plummeting, but drug seizures continue in the border department of Ucayali, a...

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...

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...
Argentina has imposed a mandatory quarantine to halt the spread of the Covid-19 virus

How Has Coronavirus Shifted Argentina’s Drug Dynamics?

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, Argentina -- a transhipment point and growing consumer market for illegal drugs -- has shut down its borders, instituted a...

Coronavirus Affects Extortion Payments in Mexico and Central America

The measures in the fight against the coronavirus in Central America have caused two starkly different reactions from criminal groups, some are continuing to extort...

Latin America Under Threat of Cybercrime Amid Coronavirus

Online scams, ransomware attacks and phishing email schemes have proliferated in Latin America amid the coronavirus pandemic, exposing the dangers hackers pose to...

Argentina Puts Seized Assets to Good Use in Coronavirus Fight

Authorities in Argentina are using assets seized from drug traffickers to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, a tactic which can be replicated in other...

Coronavirus Could Worsen Health Crisis in Venezuela Prisons

A prisoners rights' group says about a quarter of inmate deaths in Venezuela's police holding cells in 2019 were due to tuberculosis and other treatable illnesses,...