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Illegal Mining


GameChangers 2018: 5 Reasons LatAm Organized Crime Will Strengthen in 2019

It is hard to be optimistic for 2019. The current trends all point to a strengthening of organized crime throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as the...

How Organized Crime Profits from Deforestation in Colombia

Two years after the signing of a peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC, Colombia’s forests are under siege and experiencing heightened levels...

Venezuela and Turkey Unite to Profit from Amazonian “Blood Gold”

Dozens of massacres and a sprawling organized crime structure are behind a recent alliance between the governments of Venezuela and Turkey to extract,...

Mining Massacre Signals ELN Expansion Into Venezuela

The recent massacre of seven people in one of Venezuela’s mining regions may confirm that the Colombia guerrilla group ELN is expanding its criminal activities...

Attacks on Multinationals in Colombia: Signs of New Criminal Era

A series of attacks on multinational companies operating in Colombia could indicate that armed groups are shedding discipline for increased criminal gains, in a new...

Battle Over Venezuela Gold Behind Killings of Miners

Ten days after another massacre perpetrated by the army in Venezuela's mining region, its parliament has announced that it will bring the case to international...

Investigation Highlights Miami’s Role in Turning ‘Dirty Gold’ Into ‘Clean Cash’

A new journalistic investigation reveals the inner workings of Miami’s dirty gold trade, which has helped powerful Latin American crime groups whitewash their...

Venezuela Politicians Accuse Military of Involvement in Contraband Mineral Trade

Two congressmen in Venezuela allege that members of the armed forces play a central role in the country's contraband mineral trade, in another example of how the...
At Venezuela's Cuatro Muertos (Four Dead Men) mine, the search for gold is chaotic. (Credit: OCCRP, Photographer’s name withheld for their safety)

Gold and Chaos: Gang Lords Rule Venezuela’s Orinoco Mining Arc

The rise of organized crime in Venezuela's southern Bolívar region has been directly proportional to the state's neglect of local people and towns. Criminal gang...
Killings rising in Venezuela illegal mining

What Is Behind Killings in Venezuela Illegal Mining Regions?

State forces have reportedly been responsible for a wave of killings in Venezuela's illegal mining zones, sparking questions over whether they are combating...
The FARC may have earned up to $580 million a year

The FARC’s Riches: Up to $580 Million in Annual Income

The former rebels of what was once Latin America's oldest insurgency, the FARC, continually claimed to have barely any money. And while they did have a lot of...
Illegal mining is a multibillion-dollar industry in Latin America

How El Salvador’s Metal Mining Ban Could Benefit Organized Crime

El Salvador made history earlier this year when it became the first country in the world to outlaw all metal mining. But as the ban begins to take effect, experts...