NEWS

Dirty Business – The Smuggling Pipeline Carrying Mercury Across the Amazon

BOLIVIA / 13 MAY 2021

Smuggling networks are feeding illegal mining operations across the Amazon Basin with mercury, despite global efforts to clamp down on the use of the substance.

NEWS

How Chinese Criminals Secretly Move Millions for Mexico Cartels

CHINA AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2021

While the involvement of Chinese money-laundering rings in handling drug proceeds from Mexico is nothing new, a number of recent court cases in the United States have revealed crucial information…

NEWS

Showdown Brewing Over Fate of Runaway Mexico Governor

ELITES AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2021

Time appears to be running out for the governor of the US-Mexico border state of Tamaulipas – after lawmakers stripped him of his immunity from prosecution and US officials shared…

NEWS

Protests Shatter Already Fragile Image of Colombia’s Security Forces

COLOMBIA / 11 MAY 2021

Colombia’s current political crisis has led to severe clashes between police and protesters in many of the country’s largest cities. But the actions carried out by security forces could have…

NEWS

Women Taking Bigger Role in Central America Extortion Schemes

EL SALVADOR / 11 MAY 2021

A new report suggests women are increasingly playing an active role in the extortion activities of Central American gangs -- part of a larger pattern in which women's roles in…

NEWS

Earthly Delights: Religious Groups and Money Laundering in Dominican Republic

CARIBBEAN / 10 MAY 2021

High-ranking officials in the Dominican Republic are accused of siphoning millions of dollars in state funds through a religious non-profit, showing how minimal oversight of these groups makes them ideal…

NEWS

Pandemic Spending Immunity Deepens El Salvador Corruption Concerns

COVID AND CRIME / 10 MAY 2021

With a new law granting immunity to El Salvador officials accused of mismanaging coronavirus funds and the resignation of a prosecutor looking into pandemic-related spending, President Nayib Bukele and allies…

NEWS

Rage, Rinse, Repeat – The Futile Cycle of Anger at Rio’s Police

BRAZIL / 7 MAY 2021

The stranger burst into the house, staggering and leaving a trail of blood behind him. He ran into the back, into the bedroom of the nine-year-old girl. Police were not…

NEWS

Texas Lawyer Sentenced for Shaking Down Colombia Drug Traffickers

COLOMBIA / 7 MAY 2021

A central Texas lawyer known as the “DWI Dude” will spend more than 15 years in federal prison after deceiving Colombian drug traffickers with promises of getting their cases dismissed…

NEWS

5 Animals Used to Smuggle Drugs in Latin America

ARGENTINA / 7 MAY 2021

The cat-and-mouse game of evading law enforcement was taken literally by drug smugglers recently in Panama, who hid cocaine on a feline and sent it into a prison.

Featured Reporting and Analysis

Smuggling networks are feeding illegal mining operations across the Amazon Basin with mercury, despite global efforts to clamp down on the use of the substance.

BOLIVIA / 13 MAY 2021

Methamphetamine use in Mexico has grown exponentially in recent years and now rivals marijuana as the drug most cited by patients in treatment for substance abuse.

FEATURED / 29 APR 2021

The deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl has displaced heroin as the leading driver of the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States and is contributing to a deadly scramble for market-control…

FEATURED / 28 APR 2021

Long considered a backwater, low-class drug, methamphetamine availability and use has exploded in the United States in the last few years in places where it had never been consumed in…

FEATURED / 27 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…

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

Stay Informed with InSight Weekly

Our newsletter provides a weekly digest of the latest organized crime news, helping you to stay up-to-date on major events, trends and criminal dynamics from across the region.

Subscribe

Help expose criminals in the Americas

We at InSight Crime investigate organized crime on the ground: we talk to local sources, government entities, international organizations and with the criminals themselves. What we do is dangerous and expensive – and for that reason, we need reasources. Support independent journalism with a one-time or recurring donation that will contribute to our efforts to confront criminals and corrupt officials in Latin America.

NewsMakers

Sinaloa Cartel

MEXICO / 4 MAY 2021

The Sinaloa Cartel, often described as the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization in the Western Hemisphere, is an alliance of some of Mexico's top capos. The coalition's members…

Los Chapitos

MEXICO / 2 JUL 2020

The now-jailed former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo,” had many sons, but only a select few of them, known collectively as “Los Chapitos,” are at the…

Dámaso López Núñez, alias ‘Licenciado’

MEXICO / 14 FEB 2017

Dámaso López Núñez, alias "Licenciado," is a prominent figure of the Sinaloa Cartel. Authorities believe he was the closest associate of legendary kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, who was arrested…

image

Browse by Country

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

VIEW MAP

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…