The Invisible Drug Lord: Hunting ‘The Ghost’

INVESTIGATIONS / 29 MAR 2020

Drug traffickers today realize that their best protection is not a private army but anonymity. This is the story of “Memo Fantasma” or “Will the Ghost,” who started life in…

Colombia Teachers – Last Line of Defense Against Forced Recruitment

INVESTIGATIONS / 15 APR 2021

Colombia remains a hotspot for forced recruitment of minors. In this, the last of a three-part investigation by InSight Crime, journalist Mathew Charles looks at how school teachers are trying…

NEWS

Kidnappings Soar in El Salvador After Pact with Gangs

EL SALVADOR / 21 APR 2021

A recently published report warns that pacts made between gangs and public officials to lower homicides in El Salvador will only promote the wider use of forced disappearances…

NEWS

‘Memo Fantasma’ Initiates Criminal Proceeding Against InSight Crime Director

COLOMBIA / 20 APR 2021

An elusive drug trafficker has brought a criminal libel case against InSight Crime Co-director Jeremy McDermott, despite widespread official confirmation of the findings of InSight Crime's two-year investigation.

NEWS

4 Security Challenges Awaiting Ecuador’s Next President

DRUG POLICY / 20 APR 2021

Ecuador’s next president will face an unprecedented set of security challenges, as prison violence has soared to record levels, the country’s corruption is receiving international attention and the criminal situation…

NEWS

The Derring-Do of a Bolivian Drug Trafficking Warhorse

BOLIVIA / 20 APR 2021

An old associate of Pablo Escobar, who spent 27 years in prison in the United States, is behind bars once again – this time in Peru – which goes to…

NEWS

Colombia Decides EPL is No Longer Major Threat

COLOMBIA / 19 APR 2021

Colombia has downgraded the threat level of one of the country's oldest criminal groups, which means fewer resources and troops will go toward fighting it.

NEWS

Closing Prisons Only Postpones Real Issues in Mexico

MEXICO / 19 APR 2021

The shuttering of a state prison in Mexico is an unconventional response by officials trying to combat poor living conditions for inmates but this will do little to address fundamental…

NEWS

Cocaine Spike Puts Spotlight on Honduras Atlantic

CACHIROS / 16 APR 2021

A string of bumper cocaine seizures on the Honduras Atlantic has provided a stark reminder of the region's importance in the transnational drug trade.

NEWS

The Impressive Tunnelling Skills of Mexico’s Gas Thieves

MEXICO / 16 APR 2021

After the discovery of several elaborate tunnels used to siphon fuel to two hidden warehouses, it's clear that Mexico's gas theft rings have found success by going underground.

NEWS

What Criminals Plan Via Encrypted Messaging Services

COLOMBIA / 15 APR 2021

The infiltration of an encrypted phone messaging service by Belgian authorities led to a record cocaine haul, showing both how such secretive communications are crucial both to those operating international…

NEWS

Fentanyl Seizures Explode Across United States

FENTANYL / 14 APR 2021

Seizures of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl by customs agents in the United States have skyrocketed nationwide, underscoring potential shifts in drug markets amid the country’s ongoing opioid crisis.

Featured Reporting and Analysis

Colombia remains a hotspot for forced recruitment of minors. In this, the last of a three-part investigation by InSight Crime, journalist Mathew Charles looks at how school teachers are trying…

COLOMBIA / 15 APR 2021

Children serve in a wide range of roles in criminal organizations: errand boy, landmine builder, frontline combatant and assassin. In this, the second of a three-part investigation by InSight Crime…

COLOMBIA / 8 APR 2021

As in the darkest days of Colombia's civil conflict, armed groups across the country continue to enlist and exploit teenage boys and girls. In this, the first of a three-part…

COLOMBIA / 1 APR 2021

On the El Salvador’s eastern border, a subtle transfer of power could have seismic consequences in the underworld.

COCAÍNA / 23 MAR 2021

An ambitious mayor, a well-connected deputy mayor, dirty cops, a corrupt judge, and a lot of marijuana. This is the story of Itatí, the sleepy town that went from religious…

ARGENTINA / 16 MAR 2021

There were few better at money laundering than the Brazilian Dario Messer, who, while scrambling to save himself from Brazilian authorities, did one last tour of his prime refuge, Paraguay,…

BRAZIL / 4 MAR 2021

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NewsMakers

Border Security Colectivo

VENEZUELA / 20 JAN 2021

The Border Security Colectivo (Colectivo de Seguridad Fronteriza – CSF) is a state-supported irregular militia group based in the Colombian border state of Táchira.

Los Meleán

VENEZUELA / 8 JAN 2021

For more than 40 years, the Meleán gang has ranked among the leading criminal groups within the criminal landscape of Zulia, a state in western Venezuela.

Tren de Aragua

VENEZUELA / 12 MAY 2020

The Tren de Aragua is Venezuela’s most powerful local "megabanda," or large criminal gangs with more than 100 members. This group is largely based out of the Tocorón prison in…

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A country-by-country breakdown of the news as well as key criminal groups and players across Latin America and the Caribbean.

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About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…