Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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Extortion

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Contraband Turns to Bloodshed Between Ecuador and Peru

A series of assassinations on Ecuador’s southern border with Peru have been attributed to gang members fighting for control of the illegal crossings by which both...
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From Predators to Partners: How Gangs are Taking San Salvador

This is the second part of a three-part series on San Salvador’s Historic Center, the heart of the country’s informal urban markets and a long-time bastion of...
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How El Salvador President Bukele Deals with Gangs

It was late 2016 and officials in San Salvador were preparing for the grand opening of a sparkling new market in the city’s Historic...
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Venezuela’s Baseball Academies Batting Away Extortion Threats

With dozens of Venezuelan athletes now playing on Major League Baseball teams in the United States, a powerful gang has begun to extort local academies and scouts...
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The Sicilianization of Mexican Drug Cartels

Extortion can be defined as the action through which one individual obtains a resource from another through intimidation or threat of violence. This criminal...
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Argentina Drug Gang Extorts ‘Blue Dollar’ Sellers

A criminal group in Argentina has found a novel target for extortion: black market currency dealers who are moving large amounts of cash to dollar-hungry Argentines...
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Coronavirus Rattles Barrio 18 Structure in Guatemala

Police in Guatemala say the economic pressures stemming from the coronavirus lockdown are exacerbating internal divisions within the Barrio 18 street gang, a...
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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...
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Overview of Violence Against Social Leaders in Colombia

Social leaders across Colombia were murdered at an almost unprecedented rate in 2019, and for a wide range of causes. Criminal gangs seeking to protect their...
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‘Gota a Gota’ Extortionists Expand in Bolivia by Preying on Venezuela Migrants

Bolivian authorities were taken by surprise on November 7, 2018, when they captured three Venezuelans during an operation to dismantle a "gota a gota" loan shark...
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Half of Extortion Calls in Guatemala Are Made from One Prison

New data in Guatemala has revealed that almost half of all extortion phone calls originate from a single place: the country’s largest...
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Can Armed Soldiers Really Solve El Salvador’s Coffee Woes?

El Salvador officials have announced the deployment of more than 3,000 troops to protect coffee farms from theft -- a puzzling move, given that crop theft is not...