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Our Mission

InSight Crime is a think tank and media organization that seeks to deepen and inform the debate about organized crime and citizen security in the Americas by providing regular reporting, analysis, data, investigation, and policy suggestions on how to tackle the multiple challenges they present.

It does this by fusing investigative journalism with academic rigor, building its analysis from extensive ground research, which includes speaking to all the actors, legal and illegal. As well as its published work on this website, it works with a network of experts and partners in the region to provide bespoke risk analysis, diagnostics, and opportunities for positive intervention.

What Makes Us Different

Unlike many organizations, which rely on open source material to compile their analyses, InSight Crime goes into the field to speak with local sources, government entities, international law enforcement and the criminals themselves. Our process is laborious and resource intensive, but it has created the most comprehensive database on organized crime in the Americas. Our work informs the public on organized crime’s many manifestations and has spurred real change by providing stakeholders with the tools they need to identify where systems and institutions are broken and failing.

Virtual Newsroom

Our newsroom team is like no other – global, multilingual, and well-versed in the dynamics of organized crime. Although our main offices are in Washington, DC, and Medellín, Colombia, InSight Crime has personnel positioned in a half-dozen countries across the Americas and at any one time is doing research with multiple contributors in numerous others.

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Go-To Resource

We continuously develop and update profiles of countries, criminal organizations and personalities from around the region. Highly organized with infographics and detailed maps, our profiles are a go-to resource for journalists, academics, civil society leaders, government officials and others seeking to deepen their understanding of criminal dynamics in the Americas.

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Every day, we scour hundreds of news outlets, academic journals, and governmental and non-governmental reports from across the Americas. The information collected forms the building blocks of the most comprehensive database on organized crime in the region.

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Our investigators are in the field, from major cities to remote rural corners, reporting on the latest criminal dynamics, actors and hotspots, and gathering data to track the fast-changing illicit economies.

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Academic Alliances

We partner with leading academic institutions across the region, such as American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS), which has sponsored joint research initiatives, and the Universidad del Rosario, in Bogotá, which is home to our Colombian Organized Crime Observatory.

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Shaping the Debate

Each year, we hold conferences, launch investigations, conduct workshops, convene seminars and support local stakeholders to deepen the conversation around organized crime.

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Directors and Team

Our staff of about 50 investigators working across the Americas and Europe includes reporters with years of experience on the ground; investigators with graduate degrees in Latin America, citizen security and conflict studies; and experts in design, translation and data analysis. We are a tight-knit team with a nerdy edge and a taste for high-risk environments. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we are bound by an abiding belief that exposing organized crime is critical to dismantling it.

Steven Dudley is the co-director and co-founder of InSight Crime. Dudley is a senior fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies in Washington, DC. He is the former bureau chief of The Miami Herald in the Andean Region and the author of “Walking Ghosts: Murder and Guerrilla Politics in Colombia” (Routledge 2004) and "MS-13: The Making of America's Most Notorious Gang" (HarperCollins 2020). Dudley has also reported from Haiti, Brazil, Nicaragua, Cuba and Miami for NPR and The Washington Post, among others.

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Jeremy McDermott is the co-director and co-founder of InSight Crime. He leads the team based in the organization’s home base of Medellín, Colombia. McDermott has two decades of experience reporting from around Latin America. He is a former British Army officer, who saw active service in Northern Ireland and Bosnia. Upon retiring from the military, he became a war correspondent, covering the Balkans while based in Bosnia, then the Middle East from Beirut, before being sent to Colombia to cover the conflict

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