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
Forty-Three Students Vanished And There’s Still No Justice
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. It remains unclear exactly how 43 students from a rural teacher’s college in Mexico disappeared three years ago. And much of what is known about the case has come not from the Mexican government, but rather from investigations by journalists and non-governmental groups, illustrating the... 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
The United States’ Response to the Opioid Crisis Comes Up Short
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced a specialized opioid detection unit to address the drug abuse crisis afflicting the country, one of the first major actions the United States has taken so far on one of Pres. Donald Trump’s key campaign... Read more
It Never Ends Well When Brazil Sends Troops Onto the Streets
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Brazil’s defense minister has announced a new phase of security operations in Rio de Janeiro that will involve a massive military deployment, a strategy often used throughout Latin America that has repeatedly failed to produce long-term improvements. In preparation for the second... Read more
Mexico’s Sky-High Murder Rate Rises Again
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A new report on high-impact crimes in Mexico underscores that violence and insecurity continue to be grave problems, raising further questions about the country’s lack of effective strategies to combat growing violence. The report from Mexico’s National Citizens Observatory, the 2016 Incidences of High Impact Crimes in Mexico, is an annual... Read more
Marines Take Control of Mexico’s Ports to Fight Out-of-Control Crime
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Mexico’s Marines will regain control of the country’s 103 ports on June 17, after a hiatus of 41 years. The move is a worrying sign that ports are out of control, but militarization has yet to become a panacea for any of... Read more
Smugglers With GPS-Connected Buoys Defy the U.S. Coast Guard
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Despite the use of advanced technology by authorities to combat drug smuggling to the United States, organized crime groups in Latin America are still using basic technology to elude them. Authorities in El Salvador say that drug trafficking groups from South America... Read more