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Elites and Organized Crime

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Politicians, Businesses in Deforestation Free-For-All in Guaviare, Colombia

Recent investigations in Colombia have found that government leaders and landowners in Colombia's department of Guaviare have teamed up to illegally deforest the...
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Political Kidnappings Persist Unchecked in Nicaragua

Political kidnappings carried out by pro-government paramilitary groups are going unreported by officials in Nicaragua, underscoring yet another way that President...
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El Salvador President Gains Most From Prosecution of Rivals

The evidence used to indict several high-ranking politicians in El Salvador for negotiating with gangs has been around for years, raising questions about why...
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El Salvador’s Prosecutions of Officials Who Negotiated With Gangs Explained

Prosecutors in El Salvador have charged high-ranking politicians with electoral fraud in connection to their controversial negotiations with gang leaders, opening a...
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Punchy Guatemala Mayors Seek to Restore Reputation in the Ring

The Rocky theme music played as the mayor entered the boxing ring, perhaps in the hope that he would gain "the eye of the tiger." He...
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Tip of the Iceberg: Former El Salvador Presidential Candidate Accused of Negotiating with Gangs

The top prosecutor in El Salvador has asked congress to strip immunity from a legislator he says negotiated with gangs for political benefit during the 2014...
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A Death Foretold: MACCIH Shuts Down in Honduras

The announcement that a regional anti-corruption commission in Honduras will not continue marks the coup de grace for a body that had little chance of retaining its...
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Was ‘Señor T’ One of Colombia’s Invisible Drug Traffickers?

Authorities have accused Luis Del Río Jiménez, alias “el Tío,” or “Señor T,” of being a major drug trafficker with Colombian underworld ties that date...
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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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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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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...