Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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Extortion

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El Salvador’s MS13: ‘We Trust in God and Nayib Bukele’

The online magazine Revista Factum interviewed a spokesperson for the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) who spoke on behalf of the entire gang. In this...
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MS13 Grows Extortion Empire Through Honduras Mototaxi Fleet

The MS13 in Honduras has gone from shaking down motorcycle taxi drivers to owning fleets of the bikes and controlling the organizations that license them, showing...
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In Colombia, Loan Sharking is Now Just a Click Away

The longtime loan sharking tactic in Colombia known as “gota a gota,” or drop by drop, has entered the digital age -- as  criminal groups are now using mobile...
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Cartel Extortion Getting Worse for Businesses in Mexico City

Petty extortion has plagued business in Mexico City for years, but the recent killing of a local community leader angry at authorities’ inaction underscores the...
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ELN Still Receiving Payments from Companies in Colombia

The recent arrest of an Argentine businessman, accused of financing the ELN in Colombia between 2011 and 2015, has brought the ongoing ties between criminal groups...
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Ex-FARC Mafia Shaking Down Smugglers on Colombia-Ecuador Border

The hijacking of 11 vehicles loaded with contraband by ex-FARC Mafia along the border with Ecuador has revealed a new form of criminal financing for the former...
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In El Salvador, a Thin Line Between Community Policing and Vigilantism

Authorities in El Salvador are keen to expand a much-praised local policing model believed to have helped two rural communities tackle bloody gang control. But a...
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Copycat Extortionists: Guatemala’s Criminal Chancers

Widespread fear of street gangs in the Northern Triangle countries is being exploited by copycat groups who pose as gang members to extort victims. These criminal...
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Honduras Private Sector and Anti-Extortion Police: An Unholy Alliance?

Honduras’ private sector, under the banner of regional chambers of commerce, joined forces with the country’s elite anti-extortion unit in what was a fruitful...
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Panama’s Sex Workers Easy Prey for Extortionist Cops

In Panama, women in the sex trade are exposed to monetary and sexual extortion by corrupt police officers. But a new prosecution system has gone some way to...
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The MS13’s Vital Fuel: Extortion

El Salvador’s groundbreaking "Operación Jaque" (Operation Check) has provided a wealth of information on the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), revealing the gang’s...
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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...