Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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La Familia Michoacana

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Mexico Cartels Hand Out Food Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Recent cases of criminal groups distributing supplies in Mexico suggest that the coronavirus pandemic has presented an opportunity to cultivate popular support and...
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Morelos, Mexico’s Latest Hotspot for Fragmented Criminal Showdowns

Mexico's controversial National Guard has been deployed to some of the country’s most violent states, but the southern state of Morelos is becoming the focal...
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The Life and Death of a Mexican Hitman

It’s 7 pm on a Sunday, and night is falling in this Michoacán town. The heat of the day is past, and there’s a pleasant breeze. The first visitors to the park...
Several Mexican cartels partake in blood sacrifice rituals
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Praying for Death: Blood Sacrifice and Organized Crime in Latin America

A new collection of essays tackles patterns of cultish behavior and ritualized violence among illegal groups across the globe, from the Zetas and the Familia...
The San Miguel Totolapan vigilantes
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Mexico Vigilantes Seize Mother of Crime Boss in Hostage Showdown

A vigilante militia has become involved in a hostage standoff with an organized crime network in southwest Mexico, as the competition for booming criminal profits...
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How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation,...
Mexico's most wanted
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Mexico Pursues Top Drug Lords Amid Fragmented Criminal Landscape

Authorities in Mexico continue to focus on hunting down the heads of the country's most prominent cartels, pursuing a kingpin strategy that will probably do little...
Banner hung by the 'Nueva Familia'
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‘Nueva Familia’ Announces Arrival amid Michoacán Turmoil

"Narco-banners" hung around Michoacán have announced the arrival of a new criminal organization in a sign the underworld in the troubled central Mexican state is...
Recently released vigilante leader Hipolito Mora
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The New Criminal Players in Mexico’s Embattled Michoacan State

It would be easy to think that given all that has happened in Mexico's Michoacan state over the last few months, everything has changed. Knights Templar leader...
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Mexico Captures ‘La Tuta’ but Michoacan Struggles On

The capture of yet another high-level target -- this time Servando Gomez, alias "La Tuta," the leader of the Knights Templar -- should be cause for celebration in...
The Iguala ex-mayor and his wife, both accused of narco ties
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Mexico Mayors’ Narco Ties Go Far Beyond Iguala

Government information indicates that 12 mayors across Guerrero, Mexico may have criminal ties -- suggesting that a dynamic pushed into the public eye by the case...
A burned Coca-Cola truck
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Coca-Cola Arson in Mexico Demonstrates Confidence of Criminals

The Familia Michoacana burned four Coca-Cola vehicles in the Pacific state of Guerrero after their bottling company refused to make extortion payments, according to...