Criminal Actors

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

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Tren de Aragua

TREN DE ARAGUA / JULY 18, 2020

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…

José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, alias 'El Marro'

MEXICO PERSONALITIES / AUGUST 3, 2020

José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, alias “El Marro,” is the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL) and one…

Marcelo Fernando Pinheiro Veiga, alias “Piloto”

BRAZIL PERSONALITIES / APRIL 13, 2020

Marcelo “Piloto” Pinheiro was considered one of the Brazilian government’s most sought-after drug traffickers until 2017. He is believed to…

Gilberto Aparecido Dos Santos, alias 'Fuminho'

BRAZIL PERSONALITIES / APRIL 13, 2020

Gilberto Aparecido Dos Santos, alias “Fuminho,” is one of the leaders of Brazil’s largest and most powerful criminal organization, the…

Family of the North - FDN

BRAZIL GROUPS / MARCH 5, 2020

Family of the North (Familia do Norte - FDN) has long been Brazil’s third-largest criminal group, with a strong presence…

Ex-FARC Mafia

COLOMBIA GROUPS / 6 MAR 2020

The ex-FARC Mafia are a series of criminal structures that emerged during the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and…

José Manuel Sierra Sabogal, alias 'Zarco Aldinever'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / FEBRUARY 2, 2020

José Manuel Sierra Sabogal, alias "Zarco Aldinever," served with the 51st, 52nd, and 26th fronts, in the departments of Meta,…

José Vicente Lesmes, alias 'Walter Mendoza'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / FEBRUARY 2, 2020

José Vicente Lesmes, alias "Walter Mendoza," played a historic role within the ranks of the now demobilized FARC, playing an…

Gulf Cartel

GULF CARTEL / 30 JAN 2020

The Gulf Cartel is one of the oldest and most powerful of Mexico’s criminal groups but has lost territory…

Henry Castellanos Garzón, alias 'Romaña'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 8 NOV 2019

Henry Castellanos Garzón, alias “Romaña,” was the commander of the 53rd Front of the now-defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia…

Leider Johani Noscue, alias 'Mayimbú'

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / 8 NOV 2019

Leider Noscue, known by his alias “Mayimbú,” is currently one of the highest-value military targets in the department of Cauca,…

Latest

Religious Statuettes Branded as El Koki for Sale in Caracas

EL COQUI / 23 JUL 2021

Salesmen in Caracas have come up with an enterprising response to the Venezuelan capital’s descent into criminal warfare: selling devotional statuettes dressed like members of El Koki's gang.

FARC Dissidents Want Old Land Back in Colombia's Caquetá and Meta

COLOMBIA / 23 JUL 2021

Once belonging to the demobilized FARC, certain criminal groups seek to reconquer surrendered assets, driving a wave of violence in southern and central Colombia.

Fake Vaccination Certificates: The Next COVID-19 Forgery in Mexico

COVID AND CRIME / 22 JUL 2021

After peddling fake tests and vaccines for the coronavirus, criminals are now selling counterfeit vaccination certificates in Mexico City, allowing their customers to lie about their vaccine status and travel…

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