Criminal Actors

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

Filter by
From
Ordered By

Amigos dos Amigos

AMIGOS DOS AMIGOS / MARCH 30, 2018

Amigos dos Amigos is a criminal group based in Brazil’s second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro. The organization was formed in…

The Colombian Mafia

COLOMBIA / 13 MAR 2018

The mafia in Colombia today is comprised of a maelstrom of localized groups, shadowy power brokers and sub-contracted labor that…

Colombia’s Comprehensive Approach for a Post-FARC State

COLOMBIA / 9 MAR 2018

The demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC) has simultaneously represented a…

José Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos, alias 'El Árabe,' or the 'Patron de Caucasia'

COLOMBIA MAFIA / MAY 10, 2019

José Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos is presumed to be one of the biggest drug lords in Colombia. During his criminal career…

Miguel Botache Santillana, alias 'Gentil Duarte'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / MAY 26, 2022

Miguel Botache Santillana, better known as "Gentil Duarte," was Colombia's most wanted criminal until his death in May 2022.

Gustavo Aníbal Giraldo, alias 'Pablito'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / NOVEMBER 11, 2021

Gustavo Aníbal Giraldo Quinchía, alias “Pablito”, is a member of the ELN’s Central Command (Comando Central – COCE). He is one of the…

Géner García Molina, alias 'John 40'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / JUNE 14, 2021

Géner García Molina, better known as "Jhon 40," is the one who connects the cocaine that leaves southern Colombia…

1st Front (Ex-FARC Mafia)

COLOMBIA GROUPS / JULY 13, 2019

The 1st Front dissidence is the most important of the criminal groups comprised of ex-members of the now demobilized Revolutionary…

Néstor Gregorio Vera Fernández, alias 'Iván Mordisco'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / SEPTEMBER 21, 2021

Nestor Gregorio Vera Fernández, alias “Iván Mordisco,” is currently one of southern Colombia’s principal criminals. Until 2016 he served as…

Ex-FARC Mafia: The New Player in Colombian Organized Crime

COLOMBIA / 9 MAR 2018

The Marxist rebel army of the FARC is gone, disbanded and reborn as a political party. But the ex-FARC mafia…

Knights Templar

MEXICO GROUPS / 12 SEP 2017

The Knights Templar (Cabelleros Templarios) emerged in March 2011 as a splinter group of the once-mighty Familia Michoacana. Like their predecessors, the Knights Templar cast themselves…

Cartel of the Suns

VENEZUELA GROUPS / 12 SEP 2017

The “Cartel of the Suns” (Cartel de los Soles) is the term used to describe the shadowy groups inside Venezuela’s…

Latest

Memo Fantasma to Walk, Thanks to Colombian Prosecutor

AUC / 30 JUN 2022

Paramilitary drug lord, alias “Memo Fantasma” or “Will the Ghost,” may soon walk out of prison in Colombia, after the prosecutor fumbled two hearings designed to keep the accused in…

Turkey: Cocaine Hub Between Europe and the Middle East

COCAINE / 29 JUN 2022

Turkish and foreign law enforcement have seized record quantities of cocaine heading from South America to Turkey, revealing the growing role of the country’s powerful traffickers in the transit of…

Sinaloa Cartel Leader Hunted After Killing Priests, Baseball Players and US Tourist

MEXICO / 29 JUN 2022

El Chueco has quite the rap sheet, having allegedly killed priests, a tour guide, baseball players and an American tourist.

image

Browse by Country

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

VIEW MAP
icon #SupportFreePress
image

Support Our Work

Investigating organized crime is an expensive and often risky enterprise. Reaching primary sources and getting the real story involve extensive fieldwork. Please donate. Every dollar supports our mission.

DONATE NOW image