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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.
Carlos Eduardo Burgos Nuila, alias "Nalo," is a leader of El Salvador's Barrio 18 Revolucionarios gang. He is currently confined to pretrial detention on charges of illicit association and has become Attorney General Douglas Meléndez's star witness in the trial for the so-called "Truce Case," in which 18 mid-level Salvadoran officials are accused of smuggling cell phones and other items into prisons, and of committing arbitrary acts within the framework of the pact between the Salvadoran state and the Barrio 18 and MS13 gangs between 2012 and 2013.
A group of armed men killed at least seven people after storming one of Guatemala's largest hospitals to free a prisoner transferred there for an appointment, an event that could help garner increased public support for tougher anti-gang policies in the country.
In our August 17 Facebook Live session, Senior Investigator Héctor Silva Ávalos and Senior Editor Mike LaSusa spoke about a trial related to El Salvador's controversial gang truce that has spotlighted close ties between gangs and politics in the Central American country.
Another former Venezuelan official now in the United States has accused President Nicolás Maduro's son of drug trafficking, and connected powerful members of the regime to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel. But are his claims against the notorious regime genuine?