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About This Project
Elites and Organized Crime
is a multiyear project financed by the International Development Research Centre that investigates the dynamics between organized crime and elites in four countries: Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Colombia.
Fourteen members of the US Congress, including Democrats and Republicans, signed a letter on June 21 in which they called upon the Treasury Department to open an official investigation of Salvadoran political leader and current Vice Minister of Foreign Relations José Luis Merino for "long-standing associations with transnational organized criminal networks [that] are the subject of US criminal investigations."
In our June 22 Facebook Live discussion, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa spoke with Matthew Taylor, an associate professor at American University, about recent developments in a massive, unfolding corruption scandal in Brazil.
The arrest in Peru of a mayoral delegate and dozens of his suspected accomplices for running a violent land trafficking scheme highlights how decentralizing political power opens more avenues for organized crime on the local level.
Panama's former President Ricardo Martinelli has been arrested in Miami and may now be extradited to face multiple criminal charges in his home country, at time when the future of US-Central America cooperation in fighting impunity remains uncertain.
The US extradition request for Guatemala's former vice president Roxana Baldetti offers new details on her drug trafficking connections, linking her to the Mexican cartel the Zetas. The new revelations highlight the nature of the mafia state she helped oversee.