Criminal Actors

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

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Wilexis Alexander Acevedo Monasterios, alias 'Wilexis'

VENEZUELA PERSONALITIES / NOVEMBER 3, 2021

Wilexis Alexander Acevedo Monasterios has led the gang which bears his name since at least 2017. With between 150 and…

The Meleán

VENEZUELA GROUPS / 8 JAN 2021

For more than 40 years, the Meleán gang has ranked among the leading criminal groups within the criminal landscape of…

Fuerza Anti-Unión

MEXICO GROUPS / 2020-11-13

La Fuerza Anti-Unión (FAU) is a criminal organization that has grown rapidly since its inception as a vigilante group.

La Unión Tepito

LA UNIÓN TEPITO / MAY 9, 2022

La Unión Tepito is a large criminal group indigenous to Mexico City, named after one of the capital’s largest neighborhoods.

El Salvador Profile

EL SALVADOR / 15 SEP 2020

El Salvador is a relatively small but growing player in the drug trafficking business. It serves as…

Rotela Clan

CLAN ROTELA / AUGUST 23, 2020

Rotela Clan is a criminal group run by the Rotela family in Paraguay. It was originally specialized in the microtrafficking…

Second Marquetalia

COLOMBIA GROUPS / JANUARY 27, 2022

The Segunda Marquetalia is a group made up of guerrillas, who once belonged to the FARC, but who refused to…

Ricardo Abel Ayala Ortega, alias 'Cabuyo'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / APRIL 23, 2021

Ricardo Abel Ayala Ortega, alias "Cabuyo," is currently one of Colombia's highest value military targets and operates mainly in the…

Chapitos

MEXICO PERSONALITIES / MARCH 8, 2022

The now-jailed former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo,” had many sons, but only a select few…

Juan Antonio 'Tony' Hernández Alvarado

HONDURAS / SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernández Alvarado is a former Honduran congressman, the brother of former Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández and…

Tren de Aragua

TREN DE ARAGUA / OCTOBER 21, 2021

The Tren de Aragua is Venezuela’s most powerful local "megabanda," or large criminal gangs with more than 100 members. This…

Luis Agustin Caicedo Velandia, alias 'Don Lucho'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / JULY 16, 2021

For some two decades, Luis Agustin Caicedo Velandia, alias “Don Lucho,” is alleged to have played a significant role in…

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Controversial Attorney General Outlasts Guatemala's Anti-Corruption Efforts

ELITES AND CRIME / 18 MAY 2022

Guatemala has reappointed Attorney General Consuelo Porras for a second term despite her track record as a shield for top Guatemalan elites against anti-corruption investigations. Her nomination marks a disheartening…

The Jalisco Cartel's Quiet Expansion in Guatemala

COCAINE / 18 MAY 2022

Early investigations indicate the CJNG is striking partnerships with drug rings in Guatemala that receive shipments of cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela and deliver them to the cartel.

Crafty Trafficking - How Cocaine is Flowing Between LatAm and Australia

COCAINE / 17 MAY 2022

Cocaine found on Australia’s Eastern coast has perplexed authorities due to the sophisticated methods apparently used to smuggle it from South 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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