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
The Rise and Fall of Los Zetas
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. At the time of the Zetas formation in the early 2000s, as an armed wing of the Gulf Cartel, little seemed to distinguish the group from scores of predecessors and contemporaries. Mexico‘s cartels have long deployed teams of shock troops willing to engage in all manner... Read more
Colombia’s Biggest Organized Crime Group Is Hurting
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia and leader of the powerful Urabeños has offered to surrender himself and his organization to authorities just days after his number two was killed by security forces. However, it is unlikely that the dispersed, decentralized criminal group will be... Read more
El Salvador Cops Allegedly Formed a Death Squad
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. The government of El Salvador has yet to provide a convincing response to allegations that senior officers of the national police created criminal networks within the institution that engaged in extrajudicial killings, sexual assault and extortion. The allegations resurfaced following an investigation by Revista Factum that revealed... Read more
Tracking the FARC Rebels’ Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Assets
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Colombia’s demobilized FARC have finally revealed their official list of assets — worth hundreds of millions of dollars — but the country’s top prosecutor has already lambasted the “useless” inventory, which likely comes up far short in its accounting of the former guerrillas’ true... Read more
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