Colombia’s Least-Known But Most-Wanted Public Enemy No. 1
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Ex-FARC commander “Gentil Duarte” has risen to the top of Colombia’s most-wanted list, but the relatively unknown figure turned public enemy number one may be a less significant threat than the hefty price on his head suggests. The Colombian government has named... Read more
The Militarized, Adaptable Cartel Spreading Across Mexico
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The CJNG is expanding its presence and influence throughout Mexico. In each of the states where the group operates, it continues to successfully exploit its defining features: the flexibility to combine a military perspective with its historical criminal ties, a strategic commitment to... Read more
Drug Wars, Missing Money and a Phantom $500 Million
2017 was a year of investigations for U.S. Africa Command. There was the investigation of the two-star commander of U.S. Army Africa who allegedly sent racy texts to an enlisted man’s wife. There was the investigation into the alleged killing of an Army Special Forces soldier by Navy SEALs... Read more
Colombian Traffickers, Targeting Europe, Smuggle Cocaine Decorated With Pics of Putin
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Major cocaine seizures in Spain, Portugal and Ecuador illustrate the European cocaine pipeline that has become a central part of the operations of Colombian drug traffickers, and could represent lucrative new opportunities for them to move further up the drug supply chain.... Read more
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
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
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