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The Prison Dilemma in the Americas

This series of five case studies and one policy report explores how government mismanagement, neglect and corruption have made the jails in the...
Jarvis Chimenes Pavão with Paraguay anti-drug police
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Brazil Crime Boss Sold ‘Tons’ of Drugs From Paraguay Prison

Brazil authorities have reportedly dismantled an international drug trafficking network that purchased tons of drugs from a Brazilian crime boss jailed in Paraguay,...
A faction of Brazil's PCC protests against the transfer of their leaders in 2001
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Brazil’s PCC Planning Anniversary Attacks on Govt Officials: Report

A new report says that Brazil's largest and most powerful criminal organization is planning a spate of attacks against government officials to mark...
Kids behind bars in Brazil
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Jails Help Turn Kids Into Criminals. In Belize, There’s a Better Way.

In recent years, heavy-handed strategies and mass incarceration have been the preferred tactics used by many politicians in the region. Now, facing evidence that...
Late Byron Lima in handcuffs
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Guatemala Authorities Reveal New Details in Byron Lima Murder Case

Authorities in Guatemala have made several arrests and revealed previously-unknown details regarding the slaying of Byron Lima, the one-time "king" of the country's...
Opuim poppy fields in Afghanistan
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Weekly InSight: Drugs and Security, Latin America’s Lessons for the World

In our August 3 Facebook Live session, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa spoke with Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown about the lessons Latin America...
Prisoners outside Topo Chico prison in Monterrey, Mexico,
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Mexico Government Prisons Study Glosses Over Riots, Abuse

A new government study of Mexico's prison system paints a relatively favorable portrait of penitentiary conditions -- at least in a regional context. But it also...
El Pedregal Prison, Medellín, Colombia
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Sentenced Without Conviction: A Tale of Pretrial Detention in Colombia

On April 3, 2014, a dozen plainclothes police officers crashed through the door of Norbert Reinhart's Medellín apartment brandishing an arrest warrant for murder....
Camp Street prison destroyed during riot
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Guyana Prison Riot, Fire Create Major Security Headache

A massive prison riot that occurred in Guyana's capital this past weekend could have serious ramifications on the country's overall security situation, while also...
Relatives of inmates outside Las Cruces prison in Acapulco
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Mexico Prison Deaths Show Endemic Problems, Criminal Conflicts

A violent outbreak between rival gangs in a Mexico prison in the embattled state of Guerrero that left dozens of inmates dead reflects the fight for the local...
Gang members guarded by policemen outside El Salvador prison
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Report Underscores Crime Reduction, Abuse by El Salvador Govt

A recent report by El Salvador's ombudsman credits the government's new security measures with reducing crime, but condemns their adverse impact on prisoners'...
The role of female gang members may be evolving in Honduras
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Role of Female Gang Members Evolving in Honduras: Report

Female gang members in Honduras are taking a more active role in criminal activities as gang leaders are transferred into maximum security prisons, a Honduras...