Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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Extortion

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How the Private Sector Helped Counter Rural Extortion in El Salvador

El Salvador’s sugarcane industry and the national police have succeeded in reining in extortion in the countryside by way of a private-public partnership...
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Municipalities Fight Back in Guatemala’s Gang-Preyed Upon Neighborhoods

On the outskirts of Guatemala City lie impoverished neighborhoods, home to millions who commute to work in the capital city. These so-called “dorm cities,”...
guatemala city gang presence
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Gang Presence in Guatemala City

Extortion in Guatemala City is rife, and it is mainly carried out by street gangs and copycat groups. Shops, large businesses, and the public transport sector have...
san salvador gang presence
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Gang Presence in San Salvador

In terms of total monetary loss due to extortion, El Salvador tops all Northern Triangle countries. The country pays out an estimated $400 million a year in...
san pedro sula gang presence
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Gang Presence in San Pedro Sula

San Pedro Sula is Honduras’s second most populous urban center, and also deals with many of the same problems as the capital, Tegucigalpa, when it comes to street...
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Gang Presence in Tegucigalpa

Extortion in Honduras is both systematic and violent. The country is believed to pay out about $200 million yearly in extortion. Tegucigalpa, the country’s...
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Types of Extortion

Extortion in Central America comes in many forms and targets different victims. The actors behind it also vary, as does the way in...
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State and Community Responses to Extortion

Many victims, especially those in the Northern Triangle nations of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, feel powerless to fight back against extortion. The...
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Women in Guatemala: The New Faces of Extortion?

A visit to a women’s prison in the city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, shows the increasing role that women play in extortion rackets. The ubiquity of extortion...
northern triangle map
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Extortion Explainer 1: Evolution of Extortion in the Northern Triangle

The Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are now home to some of the most sophisticated extortion schemes in Latin America. The birth...
monja blanca buses
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Extortion Explainer 2: From a “Cora” to the Rent

The Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang’s (Barrio 18) primary criminal economy is extortion, or what they call rent. In the early 1990s, when the gangs...
el salvador police man picture
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Extortion Explainer 4: Undermining Institutions

Extortion spurs violence in Northern Triangle countries, which consistently have some of the highest murder rates in Latin America. But it is destructive in other...