Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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Sucumbíos: Lawless Ecuador Border Province Is Sanctuary for Traffickers

In January 2019, heavily armed gunmen traveling in a truck and on a motorbike ambushed a small group of anti-narcotics agents in Sucumbíos, the Ecuadorean province...
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Esmeraldas: An Ecuador Province Gripped by Drug Conflict

For the Ecuadorean province of Esmeraldas on the Pacific side of the Colombia border, 2019 began with a warning that the horrors of the past year were no...
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Ecuador: A Cocaine Superhighway to the US and Europe

Little attention is paid to Ecuador. The murder rate is low, and there are no drug cartels like those that have dominated the criminal landscape in Mexico and...
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The US Drug Trial Evidence That Could Topple the President of Honduras

Though it’s his younger brother who will be in the courtroom facing drug trafficking charges, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández will also be judged in...
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How His Own Extradition Policy Exposed the Honduras President

As his final extradition orders were being read and signed, a drug trafficker known as “El Negro” Lobo paced in his small holding cell. He was minutes away...
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Wild West of Honduras: Home to Narcos and Their Politicians

On a December morning in 2018, Javier Erazo, known as “El Huita,” took to his hammock after a horseback ride at his farm in Ocotepeque, a town on the western...
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Ex-FARC Mafia: Colombia’s Criminal Army Settling Down in Venezuela

The announcement in late August that three important former leaders of the demobilized FARC were returning to war did not only threaten the fragile Colombian peace...
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Criminal Allegations Unravel Honduras President’s Crime Fighting Facade

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández assumed the presidency as a so-called “crime fighter” that the United States could collaborate closely with to rid...
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How an Ex-Mayor Could Bring Down the Honduras President

The former mayor who may bring down Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández first appears on page eight of what can only be described as one of the most...
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A Green Gold Rush: Potent Marijuana Big Business For Colombia Traffickers

While Colombia is known for its vast coca fields, the hillsides of its Cauca region are covered in another illicit crop: highly potent...
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A Former Warlord is Back in Colombia, Will His Drug Trafficking Empire Follow?

Authorities in Colombia have arrested an infamous former paramilitary warlord after he returned to the Andean nation upon finishing his US prison sentence for drug...
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Crackdown on Illegal Mining Won’t End Ecuador’s Gold Rush

Thousands of police and military have swept through the north Ecuador district of Buenos Aires in an attempt to control the illegal mining boom that has ravaged the...