James Bargent

After the Gold Rush: Colombian Town Counts Cost of Illegal Mining Boom

COLOMBIA / 22 JUN 2017

For five years, the town of Buriticá in northern Colombia was consumed by a gold fever that turned the sleepy mountainside village into a stronghold of illegal mining, mafiosos and…

Peru Police Port Operation Shows Drug Trade Power Dynamics

PERU / 22 JUN 2017

A massive police operation in Peru's principal drug port, Callao, has shed light on the workings of local cocaine trafficking networks and how they relate to the international brokers that…

Organized Crime Bounces Back in Extortion-Plagued North Peru

EXTORTION / 16 JUN 2017

Extortion mafias in north Peru have regrouped and restructured after operations to dismantle them late last year, illustrating a pattern of recycled criminality that carries the risk of increased violence…

Are Colombians Spreading the Coca Curse to Honduras?

COCA / 13 JUN 2017

Officials believe a coca plantation recently discovered in Honduras was set up by Colombians, suggesting a criminal migration that could potentially not only import the drug production businesses to Central…

FARC Demobilization Faces Challenges Separating Narcos From Guerrillas

COLOMBIA / 1 JUN 2017

Authorities in Colombia have denied a drug trafficker's attempts to pass himself off as a demobilizing FARC guerrilla, but released a guerrilla wanted for drug trafficking in the United States.

Trump Budget Plan Spells Trouble for LatAm Security Cooperation

COLOMBIA / 24 MAY 2017

US President Donald Trump's proposed budget for 2018 is a clear demonstration of his security priorities and policy plans that will spark concern and anxiety among key strategic US partners…

Colombia Court Ruling Spells Trouble for FARC Peace Process

COLOMBIA / 19 MAY 2017

A ruling by Colombia's Constitutional Court has created an opportunity for opponents of the country's peace process with the FARC to sabotage the implementation of the accords, potentially fueling dissent…

US Report on Alternative Drug Smuggling Tactics Undermines Border Wall Logic

MEXICO / 8 MAY 2017

A new US government report on lesser-used drug trafficking techniques such as tunnels and ultralight aircraft further undermines claims that building a border wall will halt the flow of illegal…

Police Captain Allegedly Key Part of Ecuador-Colombia Trafficking Ring

ECUADOR / 19 APR 2017

Authorities in Ecuador believe a police captain played a central role in coordinating the Ecuadorean side of one of the biggest drug trafficking networks the country has seen, highlighting the…

ELN Negotiator Talks Peace Progress, New Underworld Conflicts

COLOMBIA / 18 APR 2017

One of the chief negotiators of Colombia's largest remaining guerrilla group, the ELN, has spoken out on the rebels' peace process and their place in the rapidly evolving Colombian underworld.

Jamaica Boasts Gun Control Success but Security Challenges Remain

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 16 MAR 2017

The government of Jamaica has announced a rise in seizures of illegal weapons as part of a long-running gun control initiative, however a more coordinated response to violence and insecurity…

Violence in Veracruz as Cartels Adapt to New Political Dynamic

GULF CARTEL / 16 MAR 2017

The new governor of the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico is facing cartel wars and spiraling violence after succeeding the fugitive Javier Duarte. And the disruption to the government-organized…

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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…