Criminal Actors

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

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Sinaloa Cartel

MEXICO GROUPS / 2021-05-04

The Sinaloa Cartel, often described as the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization in the Western Hemisphere, is an…

Libertadores del Vichada

COLOMBIA / 2015-11-17 23:23:31

The Libertadores del Vichada are a splinter group of the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC) based in…

Colombia Profile

COLOMBIA / 2021-01-21

After more than half a century of civil war and the rise and fall of drug trafficking empires, Colombia has…

EPL

COLOMBIA GROUPS / 2021-01-21

The dissidence of the EPL, which the Security Forces call Los Peludos, is the dissidence of the guerrilla group Popular…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.

Salta, Argentina

GEOGRAPHIC PROFILES / 15 MAR 2021

Salta is the main gateway for cocaine entering Argentina. Drugs enter via Salvador Mazza and Aguas Blancas, parts of which…

Latest News

Colombia’s City of Cali Dealing with Fallout of Prosecutor’s Arrest

COLOMBIA / 6 MAY 2021

In the past year and a half, two murder cases have shaken the city of Cali: the slaying of its lead organized crime prosecutor and the massacre of five youths…

Venezuela’s Modeling Agencies Repeatedly Linked to Human Trafficking

GENDER AND CRIME / 5 MAY 2021

As sex trafficking has soared in Venezuela, seemingly legitimate modeling agencies are repeatedly being linked to cases of human trafficking, trapping young women and forcing them into sexual servitude.

Why South America’s Armies Are Losing the War for the Amazon

BRAZIL / 4 MAY 2021

Brazil, Colombia and Peru have deployed their armies to fight deforestation and other crimes in the Amazon rainforest.

Investigations

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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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