Criminal Actors

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

Filter by
Ordered By

Juan de Dios Úsuga, alias 'Giovanni'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 2017-03-09 23:54:35

Juan de Dios Usuga, alias "Giovanni," headed the Urabeños' military wing while the group was under the command…

Edgardo Leyva Escandon, alias '24'

ALIAS 24 / 2017-03-09

Edgardo Leyva Escandon, alias “24," works for Mexico's Tijuana Cartel, and has been wanted the US since 2009.

Victor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias 'Mono Jojoy'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 2017-03-10 00:05:16

Until his death in September 2010, Victor Julio Suarez Rojas, alias "Mono Jojoy," was the top military commander of Colombian…

José Jesús Méndez Vargas, alias 'El Chango'

EL CHANGO / 2017-03-10

Jose Jesus Mendez Vargas, alias "El Chango," was the right hand man of the leader of the Familia Michoacana.

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias 'El Chayo'

EL CHAYO / JULY 24, 2019

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias "El Chayo,” was a founding member of the Familia Michoacana and was killed in 2014.

Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, alias 'Cuchillo'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 2017-03-10 00:10:07

Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, alias "Cuchillo," demobilized with the paramilitaries before forming successor group the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (…

Vicente Carrillo Leyva, alias 'El Ingeniero'

EL INGENIERO (JUAREZ) / 2017-03-10

Vicente Carrillo Leyva, alias "El Ingeniero," was a leader of the Juarez Cartel and was captured in 2009 by Mexican authorities.

Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, alias 'El Viceroy'

EL VICEROY / 2017-03-10

Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, alias "El Viceroy," inherited the Juárez Cartel after his brother, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, died in 1997.

Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, alias 'Valenciano'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 2016-11-07 22:08:37

Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, alias "Valenciano," was a leader in the Colombian criminal organization Oficina de Envigado, and forged ties with…

Luciano Marín Arango, alias 'Iván Márquez'

COLOMBIA / JULY 11, 2022

Luciano Marin Arango, alias “Iván Márquez,” was a senior member of the FARC Secretariat and founded the Second Marquetalia after…

Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sánchez, alias 'El Coss'

EL COSS / 2017-09-27

Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias "El Coss," headed the Gulf Cartel, based in Tamaulipas, until his capture in 2012.

Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias 'El Chapo'

EL CHAPO / 2019-03-29

Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo,” former Sinaloa Cartel leader, is serving life in the US.


Northern Chile Struggling to Contain Skyrocketing Homicide Rate

BOLIVIA / 9 AUG 2022

Politicians are pushing for the Chilean government to declare a state of emergency in the northern regions including Tarapacá…

Why is Brazil’s Highway Police Suddenly Killing So Many People?

BRAZIL / 9 AUG 2022

Under President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's highway police seems to have become a brutal instrument of death.

Memo Fantasma Freed from Colombian Prison

AUC / 8 AUG 2022

Guillermo León Acevedo Giraldo, alias "Memo Fantasma," has been granted his liberty from a maximum-security prison in Bogotá.


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.

icon #SupportFreePress

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.