Analysis

Salvatore Ponzo and the Italian Mafia’s Infiltration of Costa Rica

COCAINE / 6 OCT 2020

The photos in the Costa Rican press showed Salvatore Ponzo, the Italian fruit exporter, with a neatly trimmed beard and polite smile, wearing polo shirts and baseball caps emblazoned with…

The El Salvador President’s Informal Pact with Gangs

BARRIO 18 / 2 OCT 2020

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has vehemently denied swapping favors with gangs, but a slew of government officials and a person working directly with the government say there is an…

Why Oil Theft Spread Across Latin America During Pandemic

ARGENTINA / 1 OCT 2020

From mostly being a lower-level criminal annoyance, oil theft has spread across Latin America during the coronavirus pandemic as a way for gangs to supply thriving black markets, sidestep official…

Brazil Goes After Gang Finances But With Little Guarantee of Success

BRAZIL / 28 SEP 2020

Recent operations in Brazil against the country’s two leading gangs, the PCC and Red Command, show that authorities are varying up their tactics but may still struggle to have a…

‘We Ruled’ – Excerpt from MS-13: The Making of America’s Most Notorious Gang

EL SALVADOR / 25 SEP 2020

Alma* arrived in Texas like so many others had and would in the years to come: on her own. She had just turned fourteen, and she was one of many…

Suriname’s Jaguar Trade: From Poaching to Paste

CHINA AND CRIME / 24 SEP 2020

The jaguar’s head slumps over the back of an all-terrain vehicle. A lifeless paw outstretched above a large muddied tire provides a glimpse of its former mass and power.

El Salvador’s President Bukele Linked to Venezuelan Money Laundering Scheme: Report

EL SALVADOR / 23 SEP 2020

Public officials and private individuals close to the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, are linked to a massive money laundering scheme involving Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, according…

Paraguay’s EPP Seemingly Transformed Under New Leadership

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 SEP 2020

Over a week out from the kidnapping of Paraguay’s former vice president by the EPP guerrilla, it seems clear that this old enemy of the state has returned, albeit under…

Deaths Inside Venezuelan Prisons Doubled During Pandemic

COVID AND CRIME / 10 SEP 2020

Inmate deaths have doubled in Venezuela's jails during the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that underscores how the country's anarchic prisons foment violence and spread disease.

Are Recent Cocaine Busts Evidence of Revived Jamaica-UK Drug Route?

CARIBBEAN / 10 SEP 2020

Drug mules in Jamaica made a habit of exploiting weak controls on commercial flights to move cocaine into the United Kingdom before a law enforcement crackdown significantly deterred such criminal…

US Hemorrhaging Weapons to Mexico, One at a Time

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 8 SEP 2020

A recent UN report shows that traffickers move weapons from the United States to Mexico in small quantities, even a single firearm at once, in a divergence from global arms…

3 Dirty Secrets Revealed by the El Salvador Gang ‘Negotiations’

BARRIO 18 / 4 SEP 2020

The El Faro media group reported that the El Salvador government is “negotiating” with street gangs to keep homicide levels low, which may come as a surprise to most except…

About InSight Crime

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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…