Criminal Actors

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

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Amigos dos Amigos

AMIGOS DOS AMIGOS / 2018-03-30

Amigos dos Amigos is a criminal group based in Brazil’s second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro. The organization was formed in…

The Colombian Mafia

COLOMBIA / 13 MAR 2018

The mafia in Colombia today is comprised of a maelstrom of localized groups, shadowy power brokers and sub-contracted labor that…

Colombia’s Comprehensive Approach for a Post-FARC State

COLOMBIA / 9 MAR 2018

The demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC) has simultaneously represented a…

José Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos, alias ‘El Árabe,’ or the ‘Patron de Caucasia’

COLOMBIA MAFIA / MAY 10, 2019

José Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos is presumed to be one of the biggest drug lords in Colombia. During his criminal career…

Miguel Botache Santillana, alias ‘Gentil Duarte’

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / OCTOBER 27, 2019

Miguel Botache Santillana, better known as "Gentil Duarte," is currently Colombia's most wanted criminal. He used to be an…

Gustavo Aníbal Giraldo, alias ‘Pablito’

ELN / MARCH 3, 2019

Gustavo Aníbal Giraldo Quinchía, alias “Pablito”, is a member of the ELN’s Central Command (Comando Central – COCE). He is one of the…

Géner García Molina, alias ‘Jhon 40’

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / OCTOBER 27, 2019

Géner García Molina, better known as "Jhon 40," is the one who connects the cocaine that leaves southern Colombia…

1st Front Dissidence (Ex-FARC Mafia)

COLOMBIA GROUPS / JULY 13, 2019

The 1st Front dissidence is the most important of the criminal groups comprised of ex-members of the now demobilized Revolutionary…

Néstor Gregorio Vera Fernández, alias ‘Iván Mordisco’

COLOMBIA PERSONALITIES / OCTOBER 27, 2019

Nestor Gregorio Vera Fernández, alias “Iván Mordisco,” is currently one of southern Colombia’s principal criminals. Until 2016 he served as…

Ex-FARC Mafia: The New Player in Colombian Organized Crime

COLOMBIA / 9 MAR 2018

The Marxist rebel army of the FARC is gone, disbanded and reborn as a political party. But the ex-FARC mafia…

Knights Templar

MEXICO GROUPS / 12 SEP 2017

The Knights Templar (Cabelleros Templarios) emerged in March 2011 as a splinter group of the once-mighty Familia Michoacana. Like their predecessors, the Knights Templar cast themselves…

Cartel of the Suns

VENEZUELA GROUPS / 12 SEP 2017

The “Cartel of the Suns” (Cartel de los Soles) is the term used to describe the shadowy groups inside Venezuela’s…

Latest News

Dirty Business – The Smuggling Pipeline Carrying Mercury Across the Amazon

BOLIVIA / 13 MAY 2021

Smuggling networks are feeding illegal mining operations across the Amazon Basin with mercury, despite global efforts to clamp down on the use of the substance.

How Chinese Criminals Secretly Move Millions for Mexico Cartels

CHINA AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2021

While the involvement of Chinese money-laundering rings in handling drug proceeds from Mexico is nothing new, a number of recent court cases in the United States have revealed crucial information…

Showdown Brewing Over Fate of Runaway Mexico Governor

ELITES AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2021

Time appears to be running out for the governor of the US-Mexico border state of Tamaulipas – after lawmakers stripped him of his immunity from prosecution and US officials shared…

Investigations

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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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