Criminal Actors

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

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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 / DECEMBER 9, 2021

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,…

Ex-FARC Mafia

EX-FARC MAFIA / OCTOBER 27, 2019

Las disidencias de las FARC o ex-Farc Mafia son grupos de excombatientes de la antigua guerrilla que se opusieron o…

Monos

ARGENTINA GROUPS / APRIL 28, 2022

The criminal group known as the Monos, led by members of the Cantero family, has been operating for more than…

Latest

Ecuador's Police Being Assassinated in Record Numbers

ECUADOR / 16 MAY 2022

Ecuadorian gangs are taking another page from the playbook of crime groups in Mexico and Colombia, stepping up targeted killings of police officers in drug trafficking hotspots.

Will Soaring Arrests in El Salvador Overwhelm its Prisons?

BARRIO 18 / 16 MAY 2022

As part of his sweeping gang crackdown, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has overseen the mass imprisonment of tens of thousands of people, potentially jeopardizing recent efforts to mitigate overcrowding…

Indigenous Communities in Rural Mexico Get No Help Against Constant Criminal Threats

HUMAN RIGHTS / 13 MAY 2022

The death of two indigenous leaders in Guerrero, Mexico, has again drawn attention to the government’s negligent protection of indigenous communities targeted by criminal groups throughout Mexico. In a…

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