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

Heriberto Lazcano, alias 'Z3'

MEXICO PERSONALITIES / 2016-10-20 19:47:17

Heriberto Lazcano, alias "Z3," was a former commander in the Mexican special forces, before going on to head the…

Daniel Barrera Barrera, alias 'El Loco'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / MAY 5, 2020

Daniel Barrera Barrera, alias "El Loco," was the closest thing Colombia has to a modern Pablo Escobar. Until his capture…

Miguel Angel Treviño, alias 'Z40'

MEXICO PERSONALITIES / JULY 17, 2021

Miguel Angel Treviño, alias "Z40," was a top commander of the Zetas criminal organization in Mexico before his capture by…

ELN

COLOMBIA / OCTOBER 27, 2020

The National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional - ELN) is one of the two main guerrilla armies with left-wing…

Diego Perez Henao, alias 'Diego Rastrojo'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 2016-11-07 22:02:10

Diego Perez Henao, alias "Diego Rastrojo," was the military head of the Rastrojos, a criminal syndicate whose…

Luis E. Calle Serna

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 2017-02-16 22:07:27

Luis Enrique Calle Serna was a leader in the feared and ambitious Rastrojos criminal organization in Colombia. He surrendered to US…

Mexico Profile

MEXICO / 2021-05-05

Mexico is home to some of the hemisphere’s largest, most sophisticated and violent organized criminal groups. These organizations have drawn…

Javier Antonio Calle Serna, alias 'Comba'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 2017-03-10 03:35:08

Javier Antonio Calle Serna, alias “Comba,” was the top leader of the Rastrojos, a group of former paramilitary…

Paisas

COLOMBIA GROUPS / 2017-03-10 03:31:38

The Paisas first emerged as a rural militia that grew out of the demobilized AUC paramilitary army, with…

Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas, alias 'Alfonso Cano'

ALFONSO CANO / 2017-03-10 03:22:31

Guillermo Leon Saenz Vargas, alias Alfonso Cano, was the supreme commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the hemisphere's oldest…

Rastrojos

DIEGO RASTROJO / 2017-02-16 21:57:11

The Rastrojos were born out of the powerful Norte del Valle drug cartel and rose to become one of the…

Familia Michoacana

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / MAY 5, 2020

At the height of its power, the Familia Michoacana’s brutal tactics, strong base of operations and pseudo-religious ideology made it…

Latest

Alleged Money Launderer Álex Saab Facing US Justice Triggers Fallout from Venezuela

ELITES AND CRIME / 19 OCT 2021

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro's aggressive reaction to the extradition of accused money launderer and ally Álex Saab – who appeared for the first time before a US judge to face…

Haiti Kidnappings Target Foreigners in Evolution of Security Crisis

HAITI / 18 OCT 2021

The abduction of 17 American and Canadian citizens in Haiti will bring a new level of attention to the country’s out-of-control kidnapping crisis but is unlikely to lead to new…

Cartel Gunmen Take Out Surveillance Cameras in Sinaloa, Mexico

MEXICO / 18 OCT 2021

Gunmen have gone on a shooting spree of police surveillance cameras in the Mexican city of Culiacán – attacks that not only blind authorities but reinforce cartel control.

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