Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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The Devolution of State Power: ‘The Pranes’

In May 2011, a 26-year-old prison gang leader held 4,000 members of the Venezuelan security forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, at bay for weeks. Humiliated...
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Costa Rica Dismantles Maximum Security Inmate’s Drug Ring, Again

The dismantling, for the second time in two years, of a drug trafficking organization in Costa Rica led by a man held in a maximum security prison is a worrying...
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Reality Belies El Salvador Govt Rhetoric on ‘Extraordinary Measures’

El Salvador officials boast that the use of “extraordinary measures” has improved security in the country. But this rhetoric contrasts with the real situation...
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Mass Presidential Pardon Unlikely to Improve Bolivia Prisons

The president of Bolivia introduced a new amnesty and pardon decree to congress in an attempt to alleviate the country’s prison crisis. However, it is unlikely...
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Bolivia Prison Raid Highlights Control of Inmates

Authorities in Bolivia seized large quantities of drugs and weapons and several inmates were killed during a police raid at the country’s largest and most...
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In Guatemala’s VIP Prisons, the Powerful Are Safe and Committing Crimes

The justice and prison systems have managed to preserve the lives of the powerful once they are sentenced, but they have failed to prevent their conspiring to...
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GameChangers 2017: The Long Road to Prison Reform in Latin America

This year, InSight Crime put a special focus on how prisons in Latin America interact with organized crime, examining how institutions meant to...
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In Brazil, Religious Gang Leaders Say They’re Waging a Holy War

The expression “evangelical drug trafficker” may sound incongruous, but in Rio de Janeiro, it’s an increasingly familiar phenomenon. Charismatic...
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Gang Members, Guards Accused in Guatemala Prison Director’s Murder

Authorities in Guatemala have accused several prison guards of conspiring with alleged gang members to murder a prison director, a reminder of how widespread...
Un guardia dispara un arma de electrochoque contra un recluso
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Brazil Video Shows Prison Torture

Shocking footage of Brazil prison guards torturing inmates has sparked an investigation, and serves as a stark reminder of the poor prison conditions...
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Prison Massacre Charges Highlight Source of Brazil Security Crisis

Prosecutors in Brazil have charged more than 200 inmates in connection to one of the country’s bloodiest prison massacres in recent years, as the security...
Two prisoners who 'escaped' after kidnapping
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In Mexico: A Kidnapping, a Negotiation, then an ‘Escape’

A criminal group in Mexico reportedly kidnapped a prison director and his son to use as a bargaining chip for the release of two of the group's members, a stark...