News Analysis

Praying for Death: Blood Sacrifice and Organized Crime in Latin America

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 Michoacana to Al Qaeda and the Lord's Resistance Army.

News Briefs

Former Colombia Governor Sentenced to 55 Years in Prison

Former Colombia Governor Sentenced to 55 Years in Prison

A former governor in Colombia was sentenced to 55 years in prison for ordering a criminal group to kill his...

Barrio 18 Wants to Join Possible Talks with El Salvador Govt: Report

Barrio 18 Wants to Join Possible Talks with El Salvador Govt: Report

A second major gang in El Salvador said it hopes to join possible negotiations between the government and the MS13...

Unpaid Peru Informants Show Issues with Compensation Programs

Unpaid Peru Informants Show Issues with Compensation Programs

A group of civilian informants in Peru says the government failed to pay them the reward promised for providing information...

El Salvador Church Offers to Mediate Resolution with Gangs

El Salvador Church Offers to Mediate Resolution with Gangs

In a first, top representatives of El Salvador's powerful and influential Catholic Church have said the Church would be willing...

More Zetas Accusations Do Little to Slow Mexico Politician’s Roll

More Zetas Accusations Do Little to Slow Mexico Politician’s Roll

The testimony of an alleged former Zetas' plaza boss illustrates how deep the criminal syndicate's networks penetrated Coahuila's government in...

How Will End to 'Wet Foot, Dry Foot' Policy Affect Human Smugglers?

How Will End to 'Wet Foot, Dry Foot' Policy Affect Human Smugglers?

The end of the US government's preferential status for Cuban migrants could result in short-term gains but long-term pain for...

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

In October 2012, the US Treasury Department designated the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization (TCO). While this assertion seems unfounded, there is one case that illustrates just why the US government is worried about the future.

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

Ricardo Mauricio Menesses Orellana liked horses, and the Pasaquina rodeo was a great opportunity to enjoy a party. He was joined at the event -- which was taking place in the heart of territory controlled by El Salvador's most powerful drug transport group, the Perrones -- by the...

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

The United States -- which through its antinarcotics, judicial and police attaches was very familiar with the routes used for smuggling, and especially those used for people trafficking and understood that those traffickers are often one and the same -- greeted the new government of Elias Antonio...

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

When considering the possibilities that the FARC may break apart, the Ivan Rios Bloc is a helpful case study because it is perhaps the weakest of the FARC's divisions in terms of command and control, and therefore runs the highest risk of fragmentation and criminalization.

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

While there is no doubt that the FARC have only a tenuous control over some of their more remote fronts, there is no evidence of any overt dissident faction within the movement at the moment.

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 leader Carlos Lechuga Mojica, alias "El Viejo Lin," is one of the most prominent spokesmen for El Salvador's gang truce. InSight Crime co-director Steven Dudley spoke with Mojica in Cojutepeque prison in October 2012 about how the maras view the controversial peace process, which has...

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

In August 2002, the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) greeted Colombia's new president with a mortar attack that killed 14 people during his inauguration. The attack was intended as a warning to the fiercely anti-FARC newcomer. But it became the opening salvo of...

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

If we are to believe the Colombian government, the question is not if, but rather when, an end to 50 years of civil conflict will be reached. Yet the promise of President Juan Manuel Santos that peace can be achieved before the end of 2014 is simply...

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

On May 27, 1964 up to one thousand Colombian soldiers, backed by fighter planes and helicopters, launched an assault against less than fifty guerrillas in the tiny community of Marquetalia. The aim of the operation was to stamp out once and for all the communist threat in...