Investigations

Gang Presence in Guatemala City

Extortion in Guatemala City is rife, and it is mainly carried out by street gangs and copycat groups. Shops, large businesses, and the public transport sector have all been affected…

Gang Presence in San Salvador

In terms of total monetary loss due to extortion, El Salvador tops all Northern Triangle countries. The country pays out an estimated $400 million a year in extortion. One of…

Gang Presence in San Pedro Sula

San Pedro Sula is Honduras’s second most populous urban center, and also deals with many of the same problems as the capital, Tegucigalpa, when it comes to street gangs, violence…

Gang Presence in Tegucigalpa

Extortion in Honduras is both systematic and violent. The country is believed to pay out about $200 million yearly in extortion. Tegucigalpa, the country’s largest city and capital, is overrun…

Women in Guatemala: The New Faces of Extortion?

EXTORTION / 26 APR 2019

A visit to a women’s prison in the city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, shows the increasing role that women play in extortion rackets. The ubiquity of extortion markets in urban, poor…

Extortion Explainer 1: Evolution of Extortion in the Northern Triangle

The Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are now home to some of the most sophisticated extortion schemes in Latin America. The birth of these extortion markets is…

Extortion Explainer 2: From a “Cora” to the Rent

The Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and 18th Street Gang’s (Barrio 18) primary criminal economy is extortion, or what they call rent. In the early 1990s, when the gangs first formed among…

Extortion Explainer 4: Undermining Institutions

Extortion spurs violence in Northern Triangle countries, which consistently have some of the highest murder rates in Latin America. But it is destructive in other insidious ways as well.

Extortion Explainer 5: Responses to Extortion Fall Short

Extortion is a particularly destructive crime because victims often have little recourse. Initial state responses have proven counterproductive, and more recent measures – though more efficient – are simply not…

Extortion Explainer 3: The Modus Operandi

A cheap phone and a few dollars’ worth of prepaid credit serve as the rudimentary tools of extortionists in Northern Triangle countries. Here are some of the most common schemes…

The Fentanyl Trade Through Mexico, Explained in 8 Graphs

FENTANYL / 19 FEB 2019

Fentanyl use is booming in the United States. With support from the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, InSight Crime mapped the distribution chain, and the role of Mexico's…

End of Heroin is Bad News for US Fentanyl Hotbeds

DRUG POLICY / 15 FEB 2019

On October 22, 2018, authorities pulled over a Dominican national identifying himself as Angel Javier Morell-Oneill as he drove in Methuen, Massachusetts. They had been investigating him since June 2018,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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. …