Criminal Actors

Histories and profiles of organized crime groups, insurgencies, street gangs, vigilantes and the criminal actors that lead them.

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Lobos

ECUADOR / 8 NOV 2022

The Lobos, one of Ecuador's strongest criminal gangs, are crucial players in the cocaine trade flowing through the country.

Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, alias 'The Chess Player'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / JUNE 15, 2022

Colombian kingpin, Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, alias “The Chess Player,” was one of the leaders of the Cali Cartel.

Jobanis de Jesús Ávila Villadiego, alias ‘Chiquito Malo’

COLOMBIA / JUNE 17, 2022

Jobanis de Jesús Ávila Villadiego, alias "Chiquito Malo," is the current commander of the Urabeños.

Juan Orlando Hernández

HONDURAS / 20 APR 2022

Juan Orlando Hernández, Honduras’ former president, is facing trial on US drug charges after allegations that he received bribes to…

400 Mawozo

CARIBBEAN / MARCH 23, 2022

The 400 Mawozo (400 Lame Men) gang is currently the largest active criminal group in Haiti. Led by Joseph Wilson,…

10th Front - Ex-FARC Mafia

COLOMBIA GROUPS / 18 JAN 2022

The 10th Front, also known as the Martín Villa Front, is one of the most active elements of the ex-FARC…

The Capture of Otoniel

27 OCT 2021

Otoniel was the most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia, with a $5 million bounty on his head. InSight Crime explores…

Pachenca

COLOMBIA / MAY 10, 2022

The Pachenca, also known as the Conquering Self-Defense Forces of the Sierra (Autodefensas Conquistadores de la Sierra), emerged following the…

Ariel Máximo Cantero, alias 'Guille'

ARGENTINA / OCTOBER 20, 2022

Ariel Máximo Cantero, alias “Guille,” is the leader of Argentina's Monos crime family. While he is facing decades behind bars,…

Pablo Escobar

AUC / 30 AUG 2021

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the pioneer in industrial-scale cocaine trafficking.

Jimmy Chérizier, alias 'Barbecue'

CARIBBEAN / OCTOBER 20, 2022

Former police officer Jimmy Chérizier, alias "Barbecue," is one of Haiti’s most prolific gang leader and head of the G9…

Bala na Cara

BRAZIL / JULY 27, 2021

Bala na Cara (BNC) is a prominent criminal group in Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Latest

How Peru is Tackling The Danger of Venezuela's Tren de Aragua

PERU / 6 DEC 2022

Peru is taking steps to tackle the threat of Venezuelan mega-gang Tren de Aragua, and have recently captured 30 members of the gang.

True Cost of El Salvador’s War on Gangs Still Being Tallied

BARRIO 18 / 6 DEC 2022

The escalation of El Salvador's gang crackdown in the city of Soyapango has raised severe questions as to whether gang members are really still being rooted out.

Mass Graves in Venezuela Connected to Disappearances in Illegal Mining Hub

ILLEGAL MINING / 5 DEC 2022

The discovery of mass graves in Bolívar, Venezuela, has revealed how criminals control illegal mining through violence and murder.

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A country-by-country breakdown of the news as well as key criminal groups and players across Latin America and the Caribbean.

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