Criminal Actors

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

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Ismael Zambada García, alias 'El Mayo'

EL MAYO / MAY 5, 2021

Ismael Zambada Garcia, alias "El Mayo," is battlng the Chapitos for control of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Hector Beltran Leyva, alias 'El H'

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 2016-11-17

Hector Beltran Leyva, alias "El H," headed the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), once among Mexico’s most feared cartels.

Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, alias 'Gabino'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / MAY 19, 2020

Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, alias "Gabino," was a peasant recruit who rose to become the commander in chief and political leader…

Fernando Sanchez Arellano, alias 'El Ingeniero'

EL INGENIERO (TIJUANA) / 2016-10-20 20:29:31

Fernando Sanchez Arellano, alias "El Ingeniero," was the head of the Tijuana Cartel until his capture in June 2014.

Erickson Vargas Cardenas, alias 'Sebastian' (Oficina)

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 2016-11-07 22:12:46

Erickson Vargas Cardenas, alias "Sebastian," is a former hitman turned leader of the feared Oficina de Envigado organization that operates…

Antonio Cardenas Guillen, alias 'Tony Tormenta'

GULF CARTEL / 2016-11-17

Antonio Cardenas Guillen, alias "Tony Tormenta," ran finance and logistics for the Gulf Cartel, before his death in 2010.

Alejandro Flores Cacho

ALEJANDRO FLORES CACHO / 2016-11-17

Little is know about Alejandro Flores Cacho, a pilot who runs air operations for the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.

Heriberto Lazcano, alias 'Z3'

MEXICO PERSONALITIES / 2016-10-20

Heriberto Lazcano, alias "Z3," was a Mexican special forces commander before headed the Zetas’ drug trafficking operations.

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," led the feared Zetas in Mexico before his capture in 2013.

ELN

COLOMBIA / JANUARY 11, 2022

The ELN is the last real guerrilla force in Latin America and has transitioned into a real transnational threat in…

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…

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Human Trafficking Victims Grow as Mexico Government Strategy Falters

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 5 AUG 2022

Human trafficking appears on the rise in Mexico, with the government struggling to find a strategy forward.

How Colombia's Conflict Intensified Violence Against Women and the LGBTIQ+ Community

COLOMBIA / 4 AUG 2022

Alejandra Miller of Colombia’s Truth Commission explained why women and LGBTIQ+ persons were disproportionately affected by the armed conflict.

Gang Killings of Bus Drivers Paralyzes Colombia’s Fourth City

COLOMBIA / 4 AUG 2022

A local gang targeted bus drivers in Barranquilla, Colombia, to gain attention ahead of the country's change in government.

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