How the Zetas Imposed Tyranny Inside a Mexican Prison
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new study of the Zetas’ operations in northern Mexico offers a detailed examination of the roots of the organization’s power as well as the extent of its reign of terror in 2011. The paper, called El Yugo Zeta: Norte de Coahuila,... Read more
Drug Cartels Fight for Supremacy in Michoacán
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The decline of the Caballeros Templarios has left Michoacán at the mercy of a tangle of rivals, none of whom appear able to reassert the supremacy that previously imposed a limit to the violence within the state. Recent reports from Mexican outlets point to the... Read more
In Violent Honduras, Homicides Are Falling Fast
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Due to a combination of factors, Honduras is on track to close out 2017 with a significantly lower homicide rate than has been observed in previous years. According to official figures, the government projects that the homicide rate will reach 42 per 100,000 citizens... Read more
Zetas-Gulf Cartel Conflict Continues to Rock Mexico’s Northeast
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The ongoing decline of the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas has left northeastern Mexico without a single dominant criminal force. But the crime groups’ longstanding rivalry has continued to see blood spilled in the key trafficking region. On the surface, the state of play in Mexico’s northeast is as... Read more
Did Sean Penn’s Meeting With El Chapo Help Authorities Track Down the Kingpin?
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. When Mexican authorities captured Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in January 2016, they suggested that their success stemmed in part from an October 2015 meeting the kingpin held with Hollywood star Sean Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Now, extensive reporting... Read more
Mexican Organized Crime Groups Are Now Stealing Octopuses
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. More than a dozen trailers transporting multi-ton shipments of frozen octopus have been reported stolen in Mexico in the last month, illustrating how crime groups are constantly seeking new revenue streams, even in seemingly unlikely places. Since a devastating earthquake rocked Mexico City on Sept. 19, 14... Read more
Mexico Victims’ Survey Belies Growing Homicides
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A survey of crime victims in Mexico shows that perceptions of insecurity and the number of victims have stayed relatively stable despite the country being on pace for one of its most violent years on record. In 2016, there were an estimated 24.2 million... Read more
Cops in Skull Masks Carry Out State Terror in Venezuela
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new investigation provides damning evidence of abuses and criminality associated with a controversial security initiative in Venezuela, adding to mounting concerns about the government’s support for the program. On Oct. 3, Venezuelan digital media platform RunRun.es and their partner CONNECTAS published an... Read more
‘Classic Rio Gangster Battle’ Leaves Brazil Favela in State of Siege
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. One of Brazil‘s largest favelas has been under siege for more than a week as two rival crime groups battle for territorial control, illustrating shifting criminal dynamics in the city and raising questions about whether or not security forces will be able to... Read more
How the Dark Web Empowered Latin American Organized Crime
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The global proliferation of internet access has transformed societies, enabling online and financial inclusion in the developing world. But it has also empowered organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, international officials warn. With 43 percent of the world’s online community,... Read more
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