El Salvador

EL SALVADOR

Santa Ana, El Salvador

GEOGRAPHIC PROFILES / 22 MAR 2021

Santa Ana is a key transit point for criminal groups smuggling cocaine and marijuana between El Salvador and Guatemala. It also has a strong gang presence.

La Unión, El Salvador

GEOGRAPHIC PROFILES / 22 MAR 2021

La Unión’s two ports and its Pacific coastline are routinely used by cocaine smugglers moving drugs north in boats and submarines.

Chalatenango, El Salvador

GEOGRAPHIC PROFILES / 22 MAR 2021

Though not a major hub for transnational organized crime, the department of Chalatenango is a transit point for migrants, arms and drugs.

Cabañas, El Salvador

GEOGRAPHIC PROFILES / 22 MAR 2021

Aside from some contraband smuggling between Cabañas and neighboring Honduras, there is no indication that the department is involved in any major transnational crime.

San Miguel, El Salvador

GEOGRAPHIC PROFILES / 22 MAR 2021

San Miguel was an important operational center for the once-powerful Perrones drug cartel. It is also a hotbed for gang activity.

Morazán, El Salvador

GEOGRAPHIC PROFILES / 22 MAR 2021

There is a minor presence of transnational organized crime in Morazán and limited gang activity.

Ahuachapán, El Salvador

GEOGRAPHIC PROFILES / 22 MAR 2021

Ahuachapán is a transit point for cocaine and marijuana shipments. There is also a strong MS13 presence in the department.

El Salvador Profile

EL SALVADOR / 15 SEP 2020

El Salvador is a relatively small but growing player in the drug trafficking business. It serves as a drug recipient and storage point along the Pacific Coast,…

Moris Alexander Bercián Manchón, alias ‘El Barney’

EL SALVADOR / 2020-03-09

Moris Alexander Bercián Manchón, alias "El Barney," is one of six MS13 members in El Salvador sanctioned by the United States for participation in illicit transnational actvities including drug trafficking.

Texis Cartel

CHEPE DIABLO / 18 AUG 2011

Unlike some Central American gangs that have earned fame for their brutality and their liberal use of violence, the Cartel de Texis has developed a reputation for a more business-like…

José Adán Salazar Umaña, alias ‘Chepe Diablo’

CHEPE DIABLO / 2017-05-04 16:38:54

José Adán Salazar Umaña, alias "Chepe Diablo," does not fit the normal profile of a criminal leader. As the former president of the first division of Salvadoran soccer and…

Reynerio Flores Lazo

EL SALVADOR PERSONALITIES / 2017-03-09 22:27:26

While Reynerio Flores is serving an 80-year jail term, he remains one of the most notorious and important leaders of Perrones, one of the most significant cocaine smuggling gangs in…

José Natividad Luna Pereira, alias ‘Chepe Luna’

CHEPE LUNA / 2020-03-10 22:29:20

Once the most powerful boss of the Perrones "transportista" syndicate, Jose Natividad Luna Pereira, alias "Chepe Luna," was murdered in Honduras in June 2014. Before his death, Luna built a…

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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…