Criminal Actors

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

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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.

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

COLOMBIA / JULY 20, 2022

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

The Familia Michoacana is a once-powerful cartel whose influence drained after the death of its leader in 2014.

ERPAC

COLOMBIA GROUPS / 2017-03-10 03:23:57

The Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (Ejercito Revolucionario Popular Antiterrorista Colombiano - ERPAC) began as a right-wing…

Oficina de Envigado

COLOMBIA GROUPS / OCTOBER 28, 2020

The Oficina de Envigado has evolved from a debt collection agency for Pablo Escobar to one of the most important…

CIACS

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 2017-03-09 22:38:30

Guatemala's 40-year civil war laid the groundwork for many criminal organizations, including several that spawned from state intelligence and military…

Latest

Honduras' State of Exception May Set Worrying Precedent

BARRIO 18 / 29 NOV 2022

Honduras declared a state of exception as extortion cases rise, suspending constitutional rights in cities and deploying thousands of troops.

Smugglers Leave Haitian Migrants Marooned on Desert Islands Off Puerto Rico

HAITI / 28 NOV 2022

Human smugglers are leaving Haitian migrants stranded on desert islands in the channel between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Why Mega-Prisons Holding Tens of Thousands Won't Make a Difference

BRAZIL / 25 NOV 2022

Failing prison systems and entrenched corruption mean mega-prisons holding tens of thousands won't solve insecurity in Latin America.

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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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