Criminal Actors

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

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Despite Security Gains, Violence Stalks Colombia’s Elections

COLOMBIA / 25 OCT 2011

Colombia has seen 41 candidates killed in the run-up to the local elections, in an explosion of violence that…

The New Political Face of Colombia’s Drug Gangs

COLOMBIA / 24 OCT 2011

Colombia's new generation criminal gangs, known as BACRIMs, have set their sights on infiltrating local politics, following the tradition of…

Texis Cartel

CHEPE DIABLO / 18 AUG 2011

Unlike some Central American gangs that have earned fame for their brutality and their liberal use of violence, the Cartel…

José Adán Salazar Umaña, alias ‘Chepe Diablo’

CHEPE DIABLO / 2017-05-04 16:38:54

José Adán Salazar Umaña, alias "Chepe Diablo," does not fit the normal profile of a criminal leader. As the…

Reynerio Flores Lazo

EL SALVADOR PERSONALITIES / 2017-03-09 22:27:26

While Reynerio Flores is serving an 80-year jail term, he remains one of the most notorious and important leaders of…

José Natividad Luna Pereira, alias ‘Chepe Luna’

CHEPE LUNA / 2020-03-10 22:29:20

Once the most powerful boss of the Perrones "transportista" syndicate, Jose Natividad Luna Pereira, alias "Chepe Luna," was murdered in…

El Salvador Profile

EL SALVADOR / 2017-09-15

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

Perrones

CHEPE LUNA / 2020-03-10 22:07:47

The Perrones are El Salvador's most infamous transportation group. Made up of a mix of hoteliers, human smugglers, and contraband…

Barrio 18

BARRIO 18 / 16 JUN 2011

The 18th Street Gang, also known as "Barrio 18," is one of the largest youth gangs in the Western Hemisphere.

Barrio 18

BARRIO 18 / 2018-02-13

The 18th Street Gang, also known as "Barrio 18," is one of the largest youth gangs in the Western Hemisphere.

MS13

EL SALVADOR / MARCH 11, 2019

The Mara Salvatrucha, or MS13, is perhaps the most notorious street gang in the Western Hemisphere. While it has its…

AUC

AUC / 25 MAY 2011

The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia - AUC) was a coalition of right-wing death squads that used…

Latest News

Colectivos Ramp Up Property Seizures in Venezuela

COLECTIVOS / 2 MAR 2021

An increase in the number of reports of illegal invasions of homes and commercial establishments in Venezuela during the pandemic has revealed the ever-widening criminal portfolio managed by militant civilian…

French Guiana’s Unpatrolled Waters Lure Illegal Fishing Crews

BRAZIL / 2 MAR 2021

Illegal fishing off the coast of French Guiana surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as French maritime patrols struggled to mobilize resources, luring illegal fishing crews to the country's pristine waters.

4 Key Takeaways from the Romanian Mafia in Mexico

MEXICO / 1 MAR 2021

An investigation into a criminal group, led by Romanians based in Mexico and specialized in ATM skimming and credit card fraud, has continued to uncover fascinating details about how the…

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